Borromini & Bernini: The Challenge of Perfection

December 10, 2023

1hr 42mins

Documentary | Art

THE CHALLENGE FOR PERFECTION is the story of an architectural revolution carried out by a solitary genius who changed the appearance of Rome forever, by taking up a personal challenge against convention and prejudice, by having the humility to learn from the past in order to invent the future, and the courage to pursue an idea by paying the price to the full. Borromini's style is recognizable, eccentric, different: it differs from that of his contemporaries and exudes austere spiritual authority, with unceasing allusions evoking the infinite. But this is also the story of the most famous rivalry between artists of all time, the rivalry between Borromini (1599-1667) and Bernini (1598-1680). It is above all the story of the rivalry between Borromini and himself: he was a genius so attached to his art that he turned it into a demon – a demon that devoured him from the inside, until he was driven to choose death, making a dramatic gesture in order to gain eternity.