Giacomo della Porta

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Giacomo della Porta
Born c.1533
Porlezza, Lombardy
Died 1602
Rome, Italy
Nationality Italian
Known for Architecture
Movement Renaissance
Façade of the church of Gesù in Rome.
"Christ delivering the keys of Heaven to St. Peter" (1594), Santa Pudenziana, Rome

Giacomo della Porta (c. 1533 – 1602) was an Italian[1] architect and sculptor, who worked on many important buildings in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica.[2] He was born at Porlezza, Lombardy and died in Rome.


Della Porta was influenced by and collaborated with Michelangelo, and Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, his teacher of architecture. After 1563 he carried out Michelangelo's plans for the rebuilding of the Campidoglio or Capitoline Hill's open spaces where he completed the façade and steps of Palazzo Senatorio, and the Cordonata capitolina or the ramped steps up to the Piazza del Campidoglio.

After the death of Vignola in 1573, he continued the construction of Il Gesù, the mother church of the Jesuit order, and in 1584 modified its façade after his own designs.

From 1573 he was in charge of the ongoing construction of St. Peter's Basilica, and later, in collaboration with Domenico Fontana, completed Michelangelo's dome between 1588-1590.

Giacomo della Porta completed a number of Rome's fountains from the 16th century; these included the fountains in the Piazza del Popolo, the Fountain of Neptune, Rome and La Fontana del Moro in the Piazza Navona.

Selected works


  1. "Giacomo della Porta." Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 18 Jun. 2011.
  2. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Giacomo della Porta". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Katherine Rinne, "Fluid Precision: Giacomo della Porta and the Acqua Vergine fountains of Rome", in Landscapes of Memory and Experience, ed. Jan Birksted (London, 2000), 183-201.
  • Katherine W. Rinne, “Between Precedent and Experiment: the Restoration of the Acqua Vergine (1560-1570)”, in L. Roberts, S. Schaffer and P. Dear (eds.), The mindful hand: inquiry and invention from the late Renaissance to early industrialisation (Edita/University of Chicago Press: 2007), 95-115.