Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Ocularium Lucis: Light and Optical Theory in Guarino Guarini's Church of San Lorenzo
Noé Badillo
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
The University of Arizona
Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Pia F. Cuneo
Supervisor e-mail
pfcuneo AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
English, Italian, Latin
Department / Discipline
Art History
Languages Familiar to Author
English, Spanish, Italian, Latin, French, German, Portuguese
URL where full thesis can be found
Guarino Guarini, Architecture, Architecture theory, Optics, Geometry, Mathematics, Philosophy of Science, Astronomy
Abstract: 200-500 words
Ocularium Lucis: Light and Optical Theory in Guarino Guarini’s Church of San Lorenzo is intended to provide theoretical advancement in the understanding of the work of the Baroque architect Guarino Guarini and his Church of San Lorenzo. In Part One, an historical account of Guarini’s life and work are presented. In Part Two, Guarini’s methods as an architect are analyzed according to their intersection with the philosophy of science, geometry and astronomy, as presented within his many treatises on such subjects, including the Architettura Civile (Civil Architecture, 1737), Euclides Adauctus (The Augmentation of Euclid, 1671), Cælestis Mathematicae (Celestial Mathematics, 1683), and Leges Temporum et Planetarum (The Laws of Time and the Planets, 1678). In these writings, Guarini defines light as an element which generates the fields of mathematics and geometry. These fields, while brought forth by the element of divine illumination also subjugate light into the world of form and structure, thereby providing a model for architectural creation. Through a reference to the Aristotelian prædicamenta (categories), Guarini defines a syllogistic relationship between architecture and light, by creating an intersection between optics and geometry, architecture and geometry, and therefore between architecture and optics. Guarini’s Church of San Lorenzo is understood therefore, as an instrument of light, and a vessel of divine illumination.