Borromini, Francesco, an eminent Italian architect, was born at Bissone, in the diocese of Como, in 1599. At the age of sixteen he visited Rome and studied architecture under his relative, Carlo Maderno. He copied the designs of the latter, and sculptured the cherubim at the sides of the small doors of St. Peter's, with the baskets and festoons above the arches, which are the only sculptures he ever executed. On the death of his instructor he was appointed architect of St. Peter's, under the direction of Bernini. He executed the faeade of the Church of St. Agnes in the Piazza Nuova, which is considered his best performance, and gained him so much reputation that the king of Spain appointed him to enlarge and modernize his palace at Rome. He was also employed in the Barberini palace; erected the church and monasteries of the Madonna de Strada Giulia; erected the palace of Rufina at Frascati. and embellished the Spada palace. He died at Rome in 1667. See Spooner,
Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, s.v.; Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.