The beginning of the 17th cent. ushered in the drama of the baroque era with Maderno's nave and facade for St. Peter's, to which a magnificent colonnaded plaza was added, designed by Bernini, the foremost genius of the period. Other outstanding architects of the century included Borromini, Cortona, and Rainaldi. After their deaths, Carlo Fontana became the most influential architect in Italy, transmitting the ideas of the great baroque masters to many of the most important architects of Europe. Italy, however, no longer possessed the undisputed leadership in European architecture, although in the 18th cent. Piedmont in N Italy produced remarkable designers, such as Guarini, Juvarra, and Vittone.
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