Saturday, September 14, 2019

St. PIUS V

S. PIO V
Largo S. Pio V

1952 Tullio Rossi (1903/97)

“St. Pius V is a church considered horrible by the architectural culture of the majority of its parishioners because too mercilessly essential. (...) The architect (...), according to them, has the duty to be a veritable whimsical creator. But what to ask of him, none of the critics desiring whimsicalness knows exactly: decorations in Renaissance style? Plastic movement of space? I think that Tullio Rossi could only design serious architecture, simply and plainly serious, trying, nevertheless, to achieve very high results. (...) The seriousness of his architectural creations reaches, for general and detailed consistency, a high poetic level. Had he tried, contrary to his attitude, to be whimsical, the result would have been well vulgar” (Giancarlo Galassi - Website Archiwatch - archiwatch.it/2010/11/16/una-chiesa-e-una-chiesa)

St. Pius V Ghislieri (1566/72) promoted a Holy League against the Muslims which achieved victory in the naval battle of Lepanto in 1571
He was canonized in 1712

“St. Pius V, a Dominican theologian and inquisitor, when he was elected pope, applied with intransigence the decrees of the Council of Trent and founded in 1571 the Congregation of the Index. He devoted all his energies to the implementation of three ideals: the reform of the Church, the implementation of the decrees of the Council in all countries, the crusade. (...) Equally uncompromising in foreign policy, based primarily on the defense of Catholicism from heresy, and aiming at expanding the jurisdictional rights of the Church, he provoked dangerous tensions in the states of Philip II: in an attempt to promote the accession to the English throne of the Catholic Mary Stuart, he excommunicated Elizabeth, with serious consequences for English Catholics” (Enciclopedia Treccani)

FAÇADE
Coat of arms of Pius XII Pacelli (1939/58) and mosaic on the portal “St. Pius V, Virgin Mary with Child, Christian soldier and the Battle of Lepanto in the background” by Franz Josef Strachota (1911)

INTERIOR
“Stations of the Cross” by Angelo Biancini (1911/88)
Ceramic statue with “Christ showing the Sacred Heart” also by Angelo Biancini

COUNTER FAÇADE
Above the portal statue of “Angel” in plaster by Duilio Cambellotti (1876/1960)
On either side of the portal statues “St. Francis of Assisi” by Alessandro Monteleone (1897/67) and “St. Anthony of Padua” by Michele Guerrisi (1893/1963)

APSE
At the center of “Crucifix” in bronze by Francesco Nagni (1897/1977) and on the sides “Angels holding candles” also in bronze by Goffredo Verginelli (1911/72)
In the side altars there are sixteen other “Angels holding candles” also by Goffredo Verginelli

LEFT AISLE
Baptistery with the bronze statue of “St. John the Baptist” by Goffredo Verginelli

CHAPEL OF St. CATHERINE
Bronze statue of “St. Catherine of Siena” by Antonio Berti (1904/90)
It is flanked by two large terracotta tiles coated in gold “St. Dominic between Sts. Peter and Paul and the Palio of Siena” by Aniellantonio Mascolo (1903/79) from Ischia

1st CHAPEL ON THE LEFT
Fresco “Baptism of Christ” by Igino Cupelloni (1918/2008)
Here was originally located the baptistery now moved ahead in the left aisle

St. PETER IN MONTORIO

S. PIETRO IN MONTORIO
Piazza S. Pietro in Montorio 2

Originally built maybe in the eleventh century
Mentioned by the sources in the twelfth century
It was built on the site where St. Peter was believed to have been killed, halfway between the Meta Romuli (Via della Conciliazione) and the Meta Remi (Pyramid of Cestius)

Rebuilt in the years 1481/1500 maybe by Baccio Pontelli (about 1450/92) for the Spanish King Ferdinand II of Aragon

The two ramps in front of the FAÇADE were added in 1605

Restored after the damage of the French bombardment of 1849 (in 1995 it has been embedded in a wall outside a cannonball fired by the French) and restored again in 1957 and 1963

ON THE LEFT AFTER THE ENTRANCE
“Monument of Giuliano da Volterra” 1510 by artists of the school of Andrea Bregno (1418/1503)

1st RIGHT - BORGHERINI CHAPEL
Above the altar “Flagellation of Jesus” with on the sides “St. Francis of Assisi” and “St. Peter” 1518 by Sebastiano Luciani aka Sebastiano Del Piombo (1485/1547), maybe from a design by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564)
In the apsidal basin “Ascension” and outside the arc “Prophets” also by Sebastiano Del Piombo

“Several works by Sebastiano Del Piombo were made on the basis of drawings by Michelangelo, or under his influence. Gorgeous single figures, groups often well-drawn (as in the Flagellation in S. Pietro in Montorio, and colors tones a bit dark even if with a sensitivity always typically Venetian, combined with beautiful atmospheric scenery, but never the creations of a free and radiant genius. Occasionally, however, there is a certain tragic force, a lean greatness, reflecting the intimate bond of the Venetian painter with the spirit of Rome” (Hermann Voss)

2nd CHAPEL ON THE RIGHT
Above the altar “Madonna of the Letter” by Niccolò Circignani aka Pomarancio (about 1520/98)
In the apse frescoes “Coronation of the Virgin” maybe by Baldassare Peruzzi (1481/1536)

3rd CHAPEL ON THE RIGHT
“Presentation in the Temple”, “Immaculate Conception” and “Annunciation” by Michelangelo Cerruti (1663/1748)
On the external arch “Sibyls” maybe by Baldassare Peruzzi

4th CHAPEL ON THE RIGHT
Ceiling frescoed by Giorgio Vasari (1511/74). On the left there is a self-portrait of Vasari in a black dress

5th RIGHT - DEL MONTE CHAPEL
1552 by Giorgio Vasari, by whom is also the altarpiece with “St. Paul and Ananias”

“It's one of the few scenes deeply felt by Vasari. The figure of Paul, struck by blindness and rescued by Ananias, has something touching and extraordinarily great in his complete annihilation. (...) The background consists of a row of columns in a semi-circle that goes in depth, a valid ingenious pattern, cleverly exploited. It is instead comic the bunch of people with no specific function wandering in the background in front of the row of columns, with the sole purpose of enriching the scene” (Hermann Voss)

On the sides “Funerary monuments of Antonio and Fabiano Del Monte”, statues “Justice”, “Religion” and cherubs on the balustrade by the Florentine Bartolomeo Ammannati (1511/92)

MAIN ALTAR
The steps in front of the altar are conventionally regarded as the burial place of Beatrice Cenci
She was actually buried somewhere in this church but without inscription, as was common for anybody who had been executed

In the LEFT NAVE are buried very important Irish men of political and military significance of the late sixteenth/early seventeenth century:
Hugh, Baron of Dungannon (d. 1609), eldest son of Hugh O'Neill, The O'Neill, second earl of Tyrone
A single grave shared by Rory O'Donnell (1575/1608), first Earl of Tyrconnell, and his brother Cathbharr (1583/1609), both younger brothers of Red Hugh O'Donnell
They fled from Ireland in 1607 and died in Rome as well as the more famous Hugh O'Neill (about 1550/1616) leader in the Nine Years War (1594/1603) or Tyrone Rebellion fought between the Gaelic Irish forces against the English government of Elizabeth I in Ireland

APSE
“Crucifixion of St. Peter” copy by Vincenzo Camuccini (1771/1844) from the original by Guido Reni

5th CHAPEL ON THE LEFT
Designed by Daniele da Volterra (1509/66)
Above the altar “Baptism of Jesus” 1568 and frescoes maybe by Giulio Mazzoni (about 1525/after 1589)
“Statues of Sts. Peter and Paul” and balustrade by Leonardo Sormani (before 1530/after 1589)

4th LEFT - MUTI CHAPEL
“Deposition” 1617 and “Christ Carrying the Cross” by Dirk Van Baburen (about 1595/1624)
Three paintings “Stories of Christ” by David de Haen (1585/1622)
Stuccos by Stefano Maderno (1560/1636)

3rd CHAPEL ON THE LEFT
Above the altar “St. Anne sitting in a throne with the Virgin Mary and Child” and other frescoes by an unknown pupil of Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano (about 1435-40/1508)

2nd LEFT - RAYMONDI CHAPEL
1640/47, first example of MARAVIGLIOSO COMPOSTO (marvelous compound) first experiment with hidden light shining on sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) for the Marquis Marcello Raymondi
Above the altar bas-relief “Ecstasy of St. Francis” a masterpiece by Francesco Baratta (about 1590/about 1663)
On the sides “Funerary Monuments of Girolamo Raymondi and Francesco Raymondi“ by Andrea Bolgi (1606/56)

“The tendency to execute works as a group with an artist primus inter pares (first among equal) typical of the period 1585/1621 was reversed under Urban VIII Barberini (1623/44). Chapels as the Raymondi and Cornaro absolutely show the imprint of Bernini; employees were assistants rather than autonomous artists” (Rudolf Wittkower)

“The role of the viewer is mediated by the busts on the side walls of the tombs overlooking the scene from small balconies, speakers' balconies reserved in churches for important personalities, and that, in the case of the chapels by Bernini, are often mistaken by art historians as theater boxes, architectural elements which at the time did not yet exist” (Francesco Galluzzi)

1st CHAPEL ON THE LEFT
Above the altar “Stigmata of St. Francis” and other paintings by Giovanni De Vecchi (about 1537/1615)

SPANISH ACADEMY OF HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY AND FINE ARTS
It is housed in a wing of the convent 
Lunettes “Stories of St. Francis” maybe by Niccolò Circignani aka Pomarancio (about 1520/98)

Tempietto di Bramante

Small Temple by Bramante

Masterpiece probably built in the years 1502/07 by Donato Bramante (1444/1514)
In 1605 the roof was modified
In 1628 Gian Lorenzo Bernini changed the crypt

“The architectural elements are systematically drawn from the vocabulary of ancient architecture, according to choices not guided by subjective aesthetic preferences of the artist, but by a strict organizational and symbolic logic: the classical round peripteral temple is quoted in the body of the building, in absolute eurhythmy and syntactic coherence of the various elements of the building that is a symbol of universal harmony. But the metaphysical ideas and the historical dignity of the classical language are loaded here with further religious and political meanings: built to commemorate the Crucifixion of the Apostle founder of the Church of Rome, it celebrates, at the same time, the universal authority of the city of Rome already established by the ancients, and affirms the universality of the architecture of the Renaissance” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Bramante is one of the most powerful and original personality of the Renaissance. He was part in Milan of the Lombard tradition imbued of late-Gothic and Tuscan elements, but he overcame it soon for his keen sense of monumentality achieved through the unified rhythm and articulation of architectural masses, modeled with a refined sensibility for coloristic and atmospheric values. This tendency of his for wide and serene breathing space, of which one can find significant advances in the Mantua buildings by Leon Battista Alberti, deepens, in Rome, as the artist is confronted with the classical buildings intensely studied by him and culminates in the Temple of S. Pietro in Montorio, and especially in the new church of St. Peter in the Vatican. Deep has been the influence exercised by Bramante on the architecture of his time; to him is especially connected the art of Sansovino, Sanmicheli and Palladio” (Enciclopedia Treccani)

St. PEREGRINE

S. PELLEGRINO
Via dei Pellegrini - Città del Vaticano

Mentioned for the first time by sources at the end of the eighth century
Restored in 1590
Archaeological excavations have uncovered paintings dating back to the ninth century
Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67) officially gave it in 1657 to the Swiss Guards who later abandoned it, so that it was transformed into a chicken coop

It was later restored for the Swiss Guards and now it is the CHAPEL OF THE CORPS OF POLICE OF THE STATE OF VATICAN CITY (Corpo della Gendarmeria)

“This small sacred place unknown to most people is full of history and evokes extraordinary impressions. First and foremost impressions of pilgrimages. Peregrinus, a Roman priest who made Gaul a Christian land in the late third century, is the titular saint of the chapel and one can easily understand why. For those who came from the North in their penitential journey ad limina Petri (to the threshold of Peter), the first encounter with Rome used to take place here. (...) The walls are full of frescoes with the name and emblem of the captains of the Swiss Guard, the armed corps in defense of the person of Pope Julius II instituted in 1506. One of them hit me in a special way, dating back to 1527. The mentioned person is the captain Gaspar Rost. And here suddenly the terrible May 1527, the Sack of Rome is evoked. 14,000 lansquenets, in good part Lutherans, led by Georg Frundesberg, gave the assault to the Apostolic Palace. To defend it there are 147 Swiss. It was a fierce confrontation, spear against spear, sword and dagger against sword and dagger. At the end of the atrocious butchery all the Swiss Guards of the Pope had died. Among others, Captain Gaspar Rost who was slain with his soldiers to allow Pope Clement VII to retire with his court in the untakeable Castel Sant'Angelo” (Antonio Paolucci - L'Osservatore Romano, May 30, 2010)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

St. PATRICK

S. PATRIZIO
Via Boncompagni 31

1908/11 Aristide Leonori (1856/1928) for the College of the Irish Augustinians who still officiate it
FAÇADE Northern-European Romanesque
National Church of Ireland

AT THE END OF THE RIGHT NAVE
Detached fresco of the end of the thirteenth century “Our Lady of the Graces” formerly S. Maria in Posterula, previous church of the Irish, destroyed in order to build Ponte Umberto I (Humbert I Bridge)

APSE
Mosaic “St. Patrick explains the mystery of the Trinity to King Laoghaire” 1936 by Rodolfo Villani (1881/1941)

ON THE LEFT - ALTAR OF THE SACRED HEART
Mosaic “Last Supper” 1942 by Silvio Galimberti (1869/1956)

COLLEGE OF THE IRISH AUGUSTINIAN
In a CHAPEL on the second floor “Madonna and Child or Virgin Mary of S. Maria in Campo” about 1484 by Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano (about 1435-40/1508) and artists from his workshop

“The setting of the image, clearly derived from the Florentine tradition, associates this Madonna (...) to models sculpted by Verrocchio, exemplified by the Madonna and Child of the Bargello Museum. Its simple frame is an integral element of the board, and maybe it is the original one. (...) The fact that the execution can be likely dated to 1484 and its quality level lead to put it in a context of strict observance of Antoniazzo Romano's style, which does not exclude the intervention of the painter himself” (Adriana Capriotti)

St. PASSERA

S. PASSERA
Via S. Passera 1 - Magliana

Probably built in the fifth century AD on the ruins of a ROMAN MAUSOLEUM of the late second/early third century AD, still visible

The church is mentioned in the sources for the first time in the eighth century

The present church dates back to the thirteenth century

Here were kept the relics of the martyrs Sts. Cyrus and John, brought to Rome in the year 407. They were two doctors from Alexandria in Egypt killed during the persecution of Diocletian (284/305), which took place in the year 303

The Catholic Church does not include any S. Passera in the lists of saints and, according to historical sources, no saint has ever existed under the name Passera

The curious name Passera (sparrow) is mentioned in the sources only since 1317 and it comes maybe from a contraction of S. Prassede (St. Praxedes), the saint to whom the church was originally dedicated, and of whom a relic was preserved here

The name could also come from the phonetic corruption of the title Abbas Cyrus (father Cyrus), from which S. Abbaciro, given to the church

Over the centuries the term underwent a distortion in the popular language, becoming Appacero, Pacero, Pacera and, finally, Passera

APSE

Two orders of frescoes of the fourteenth century:

In the upper part “Jesus and Sts. Peter, Paul and John the Evangelist”

In the lower part “Virgin Mary and Child with Sts. Praxedes, Cyrus and John martyr with two images of laymen, probably the patrons”

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS

The underground of the church, buried after 1706, was rediscovered only in 1904

On the north wall there are some faded frescoes “Cycle of Goddess Dike” with the goddess holding a pair of scales, a bird and a boxer

On the south wall “Sheep and red lines”

In the vault “Large six-pointed and eight-pointed star and decorative motifs”

There are some unrecognizable images in the counter façade
At the end of the thirteenth century a “Virgin Mary and Child” was painted here, but it was stolen in 1968

St. PASCHAL BAYLON

S. PASQUALE BAYLON
Via S. Francesco a Ripa 20

1123 Callistus II (1119/24) with the name of Sts. Forty Martyrs of Sebaste

According to Christian tradition, the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste were Christian Roman soldiers who refused to recant their religion and were left freezing to death in the year 320, during the persecution of Licinius (306/324)


It was rebuilt in 1486 and restored in 1608


Rebuilt 1744/47 by Giuseppe Sardi (1680/1753) with new dedication on the FAÇADE to St. Paschal Baylon (1540/92) the Spanish saint protector of spinsters. The church is in fact also known as the church of spinsters


St. Paschal Baylon is also the patron saint of pastry chefs, and of women married to men who encountered difficulties in fulfilling their conjugal duties
For this reason perhaps the legend has it that a woman who wanted to awaken the dormant passion in her husband prayed St. Paschal Baylon and she dreamed him recommending a very thick cream, made with sugar, eggs and Marsala wine, which would have restored sexual desire
The thick cream was first named S. Bayon, then Sanbaion and finally Zabaione or Eggnog in English

The church belongs to the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor Spanish


“A significant variation of the longitudinal type is that which shapes here the main nave as a hall, rounding the corners. The common aspiration is to create an illusory perspective depth with a studied arrangement of light sources” (Paolo Portoghesi)


VAULT “Glory of St. Peter of Alcantara” and DOME “Glory of St. Paschal” about 1754 by Matteo Pannaria

MAIN ALTAR
“Martyrdom of the Forty Martyrs” by Arturo Tosi (1871/1956)

1st CHAPEL ON THE LEFT
Altarpiece “Holy Family” by Francisco Preciado (1713/89), a pupil of Sebastiano Conca

Thursday, July 25, 2019

St. PAUL FIRST HERMIT

S. PAOLO PRIMO EREMITA
1767/75 Clemente Orlandi (1694/1775) Luigi Vanvitelli's pupil. It was built over a previous church of mysterious origins
“The church stands on the site of an older one, for which the only source is a manuscript of Giovanni Antonio Bruzio. According to this manuscript some Hungarian and Polish monks, following the rule of St. Paul the First Hermit, previously settled in S. Salvatore in Onda and later in S. Stefano Rotondo, in 1669 bought this site on Viminal Hill from the Cistercians of St. Pudentiana and erected here a small church and a monastery” (Antonio Michelazzi - www.sanfrumenzio.it/archivio/paolo_di_tebe.pdf)
“It was the most important job, albeit late in his life, that Orlandi was ever given. His career, although celebrated with important academic awards, had consisted mainly in technical consulting, renovations and restorations. So he poured it into what was to be his masterpiece, all of his architectural culture, deeply rooted in the great tradition of the Roman Baroque” (Antonio Federico Caiola)
It is the last example of a Baroque style building in Rome
It became the new Hungarian church of the Order of the Pauline Monks after the destruction in 1777 of the ancient church of the Hungarians near the Basilica of St. Peter, for the construction of the new sacristy
It was also dedicated to the St. Stephen I (about 970/1038), the first king of Hungary who had promoted the conversion of the Hungarians to Christianity
Since 1801 it belonged to the Conservatory of the Most Holy Trinity
Deconsecrated in 1870 when the Savoy crest on the FAÇADE replaced a palm tree. The coat of arms is still however supported by two lions and a raven, symbol of the saint as the palm
It is now owned by the Ministry of Interior and it is the seat of the officers' club of the Italian Police

INTERIOR
A Greek cross with a dome with skylight windows. The original decorations is gone
St. PAUL OF THEBES lived in the third century AD and, according to tradition, when he was sixteen, during the persecution of Decius (249/251), fled into the wilderness where he lived for almost ninety years sheltered in a cave with a palm tree and a source of water, eating the bread that was brought to him by a raven
He would have died at 113 years in the year 341 AD
At his death, St. Anthony Abbot buried him in a pit dug, according to legend, by two lions
In the emblem of the Order of the Pauline Monks there are the symbols of St. Paul of Thebes that relate to his life: a palm tree, two lions and a raven with a piece of bread in its beak

St. PAUL AT THE REGOLA

S. PAOLO ALLA REGOLA
Founded according to tradition at the time of Pope Sylvester I (314/355) in a house that had already been converted into a chapel
It was known as SCHOLA PAULI (Paul's School) for the tradition according to which St. Paul lived here for two years. Tradition has it also that he wrote here his letters to the Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians and to Philemon which are part of the New Testament
The church was home to corporations including the ones of the Cappellari (hat makers), Vinai (wine makers), Barbieri (barbers), Cicoriari (chicory pickers) and Vaccinari (cowmen) 
Rebuilt since 1687 by G.B. Bergonzoni (1629/92) for the Third Regular Order of St. Francis of the Sicilian Nation
Consecrated in 1728

FAÇADE
Finished in 1721 with a project by Giacomo Cioli (?/1734) executed by Giuseppe Sardi (1680/1753)

1st RIGHT - CHAPEL OF St. ROSALIA
Above the altar “Sts. Chiara, Rose of Viterbo and Rosalia” maybe by Cristoforo Creo
Oval painting on the right “Martyrdom of St. Erasmus” by Biagio Puccini (1673/1721)

BETWEEN 1st AND 2nd CHAPEL ON THE RIGHT
“Tomb of Bishop Pietro Gioeni” d. 1761

2nd RIGHT - CHAPEL OF St. FRANCIS
Above the altar “St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata” 1695 by Michele Rocca (about 1675/1751) from Parma
Formerly erroneously attributed to Francesco Mazzola, who, just like Michele Rocca, was nicknamed Parmigianino

3rd RIGHT - CHAPEL OF THE CROSS
Above the altar “Bronze crucifix” attributed to Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654) or Pietro Bracci (1700/73)

ABOVE THE DOOR OF THE ORATORY
Oval painting “St. Thomas Aquinas admires St. Bonaventure who had fallen into a trance” by Biagio Puccini

ORATORY OF St. PAUL
Oldest area of the church built on the ruins of the house, maybe prison, of St. Paul
Rebuilt 1931 by Antonio Muñoz (1884/1960)
Mosaic “St. Paul” by Eugenio Cisterna (1862/1933)

MAIN ALTAR
At the center “Conversion of St. Paul”, on the right “Martyrdom of St. Paul”, on the left “Preaching of St. Paul” about 1701 frescoes by Luigi Garzi (1638/1721), a pupil of Andrea Sacchi later influenced by Carlo Maratta
“Luigi Garzi went to Rome from Pistoia when he was very young (...) He was at the school of Andrea Sacchi whose teachings helped to direct him towards classicism. Sacchi in particular advised him to study the works of Raphael, Domenichino and Nicolas Poussin. Garzi studied also other classicists Emilian painters such as Guido Reni, and he preferred Giovanni Lanfranco above all. He was, however, decisively influenced by Carlo Maratta, 'so that he can be considered, as a painter, on a minor parallel line to Carlo Maratta, but with interesting differences and anticipations of the eighteenth century' (Sestieri, 1994)” (Gerardo Casale - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Eighteenth-century choir made out of walnut wood
ORGAN 1763 by Hans Conrad Wehrle (beginning eighteenth century/1771), German organ builder designer of numerous organs for churches in Rome and in the Lazio region, including that of St. Mary Magdalene
Marble tabernacle for the holy oils made in 1535

3rd LEFT - CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF GRACE
Above the altar fresco beginning of fifteenth century “Our Lady of Grace” believed to be miraculous, formerly at the entrance of the old church
Above the door of the sacristy
Oval painting “Virgin Mary delivering the Child to St. Clare of Assisi” by Biagio Puccini

2nd LEFT - CHAPEL OF St. ANNA
Above the altar “St. Anna receives the Child Jesus from the arms of the Virgin” by Giacinto Calandrucci (1646/1707) a pupil of Carlo Maratta
In the vault frescoes “Glory of St. Anna” and “Prophets” by Salvatore Monosilio (active since 1744/d. 1776) who was also a pupil of Maratta

1st LEFT - CHAPEL OF St. ANTHONY OF PADUA
Above the altar “St. Anthony of Padua with the Child in his arms” by Giacinto Calandrucci
Oval painting on the left “Miracle of the healing of the foot by St. Anthony” by Giacomo Dio
In the aedicula of the altar “Redeemer” fragment of a larger painting by an anonymous artist of the Veneto-Lombardy area

SACRISTY
1712 Alessandro De Grandis
Vault “St. Paul points out to St. John Chrysostom the Virgin Mary in Glory” by Ignazio Stern (1679/1748)
Walnut cabinets of 1736

Insula Romana di S. Paolo alla Regola

Ancient Roman Apartment Block of St. Paul at the Regola
Under PALAZZO SPECCHI, the building dating back to the sixteenth century to the right of the church, archaeologists found in the years 1978/82 a large brick building made out of four floors dating back to the imperial age with medieval phases of construction
Two of the ancient four floors are below the current street level 
The building was originally built at the time of Domitian (81/96 AD) to be used as a warehouse, maybe the HORREA VESPASIANI, used as part of the port and trading activities that took place along the nearby Tiber River
Two rooms in opus latericium (concrete covered with bricks) and two rooms with mosaic floors arranged on roads parallel to the Tiber and slightly sloping towards the river 
In the Severan period (early third century AD), the building was renovated and new warehouses, spacious halls and residential apartments were built. The new structures made the building rise to four stories in height
In the twelfth century on the ancient building a house with a tower was built, which is still visible behind Palazzo Specchi

Monday, July 22, 2019

St. PANTALEON

S. PANTALEO
Mentioned in the sources for the first time in 1186
Maybe restored in about 1216 by Honorius III Savelli (1216/27) who entrusted it to English prelates
Originally it had the orientation reversed, with entry from Piazzetta dei Massimi
Granted in 1614 by Paul V Borghese (1605/21) to St. Joseph Calasanz (1557/1648), founder of the Order of the Pious Schools, the first free public schools in Europe that he opened in 1567 near the church of S. Dorotea (St. Dorothy of Caesarea) in Trastevere
Reconstructed in two phases: 1681/82 and 1686/89 by Giovanni Antonio De Rossi (1616/95) for Cardinal Gaspare Carpegna, with the orientation reversed
Last work of Giovanni Antonio De Rossi and his most accomplished piece of religious architecture, although maybe his initial project with a central plan had been rejected by the Order
“The architectural structure of S. Pantaleo is the expression of a first attempt to evolution, if not revolution, of Baroque poetry towards forms that are able to rationalize the means of expression, in the context of a classical language” (Gianfranco Spagnesi)
Dedicated to St. Panteaeon doctor of Nicomedia, martyr in the year 305. In Rome, the name changed to Pantaleo and he became the protector of the lotto players and he was an inspiration for winning numbers. The church was used for a long time for exorcisms

1806 Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839) for Prince Giovanni Torlonia with “Frieze with weapons and armor” by Pietro Aurelj

Spectacular “Triumph of the Name of Mary” 1687/92 masterpiece by Filippo Gherardi (1643/1704)
Six years before starting this amazing fresco Filippo Gherardi had mourned the death of the painter Giovanni Coli (1636/81), his beloved partner, with whom he wanted to share the grave even though he died 23 years later

1st RIGHT - CHAPEL OF THE CROSS
Sculptural group “Crucified Christ and Mary Magdalene” by an unknown artist of the eighteenth century and fresco with “Landscape”

2nd RIGHT - CHAPEL OF St. JOSEPH
Above the altar “Death of S. Joseph” about 1690 maybe by Sebastiano Ricci (1659/1734) with beautiful still life on the left
Inside the altar there are the relics of St. Flavian martyr

1763/67 designed by Nicola Salvi (1697/1751)
Redesigned and begun by Carlo Murena (1713/64)
Finished in 1802 by Giuseppe Valadier
Relief in stucco “St. Joseph Calasanz and the Scolopi Fathers attend the triumph of Our Lady” 1802 by Luigi Acquisti (1745/1823) with inserted “Madonna of the pious schools” given to the Scolopi Fathers in 1688
Urn containing the body of St. Joseph Calasanz by Carlo Murena

2nd LEFT - CHAPEL OF St. PANTALEON
Above the altar “St. Pantaleon heals the sick” 1689 by Tommaso Caisotti copy from an original of Guido Reni
Inside the altar since 1995 body of blessed Pietro Casani

1740/46. Above the altar “Sts. Joachim and Anne with the Virgin Mary as a young girl” about 1750 Bartolomeo Bosi

SACRISTY
In the passageway of the entry “Tomb of Laudomia Brancaleone” d. 1577 daughter of Giovanni Brancaleone, the knight who led the Italians to victory in the challenge of Barletta in 1503
“Sts. Justus and Pastor” maybe by Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio (1552/1626) the only painting remaining of the original furnishings

ORATORY OF THE APPARITION
Decorated 1923/25 by Antonino Calcagnadoro (1876/1935)

ROOM OF St. JOSEPH CALASANZ
It is the room where he lived and died in 1648. Frescoes of the sixteenth century

St. ONUPHRIUS

S. ONOFRIO AL GIANICOLO
1439 on the site of the 1419 oratory of the Blessed Nicola da Forca Palena
Completed in the sixteenth century
Restored in 1949
St. Onuphrius was a martyr of the fourth century, patron saint of weavers

Three lunettes with stories of St. Jerome: “Baptism”, “Vision” and “Temptation” 1605 by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641) for Cardinal Girolamo Agucchi
This work was the personal Roman debut of Domenichino, after having worked with Annibale Carracci in the Farnese Palace

Above the door - Lunette with “Two Sibyls” by Agostino Tassi (1578/1644)

OUTER LUNETTE ABOVE THE PORTAL OF THE CHURCH
“Madonna and Child” 1600 by Claudio Ridolfi

1st RIGHT - CHAPEL OF St. ONUPHRIUS
Two spandrels with “Annunciation” by Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano (about 1435-40/1508)
Round panel “Eternal Father” maybe by Baldassare Peruzzi (1481/1536)

Stucco and frescoes by G.B. Ricci (about 1550/1624)
Above the altar “Madonna of Loreto” 1604/05 by Annibale Carracci (1560/1609) and his workshop, consisting at the time of Domenichino, Sisto Badalocchio (1585/1645), Francesco Albani (1578/1660) and Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647)
“The charming painting mixes the depiction of the miraculous transportation of the house of the Virgin Mary from Nazareth to Loreto, to the well-known theme of the intercession of prayer for the souls in purgatory, on which, to extinguish the ardor of the flames within which they are immersed, the Child is pouring water from a jar” (Daniele Benati)

TO THE RIGHT OF THE MAIN ALTAR
“Funerary Monument of Giovanni Sacco” of the school of Andrea Bregno (1418/1503) and, in the lunette, fresco “St. Anne teaching reading to Mary” by unknown artist of Umbrian or Roman school

Frescoes “Stories of Mary” 1503/06 maybe first work in Rome by Baldassare Peruzzi (1481/1536), according to Giorgio Vasari

3rd CHAPEL ON THE LEFT
“Funerary Monument of Cardinal Filippo Sega” with portrait of Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641)

2nd LEFT - CHAPEL OF THE HOLY TRINITY
In the vault “Trinity” by Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746)

“Funerary Monument of Torquato Tasso (1544/95)” 1857 by Giuseppe De Fabris (1790/1860)
The great poet from Sorrento renewed the genre of the epic poem with his Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Delivered) completed in 1575
“I went to visit Tasso's tomb of and I cried. This was the first and the only pleasure I have felt in Rome” (Giacomo Leopardi)
Votive lamp design by Duilio Cambellotti (1876/1960)

SACRISTY
Fresco in the vault about 1723 by Girolamo Pesci (1679/1759)
On the right “Blessed Peter of Pisa” by Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746)

Fifteenth century lunettes with “Stories of St. Onuphrius” painted in the seventeenth century by Claudio Ridolfi, Giuseppe Cesari aka Cavalier d'Arpino (1568/1640) and Vespasiano Strada (1582/1622)

UPSTAIRS
In a corridor wall “Madonna of the donor” by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (1466-67/1516), mistakenly believed by Leonardo da Vinci

Museo Tassiano

Torquato Tasso Museum
Housed in the two rooms where the great poet Torquato Tasso (1544/95) lived the last period of his life and where he died on April 25, 1595 
“Jerusalem Delivered is a revised version of a historical event in which the author inserted different themes to present a vision of a world full of conflicts and contradictions, in which are fighting on the one hand the angelic powers and the Christian sense of the marvelous, on the other hand the powers of hell and other diabolical magic. (...) Tasso suffered ostracism from the Accademia della Crusca (...) and was not liked by Galileo Galilei, who in his 'Considerazioni al Tasso' (Thoughts about Tasso) even defined the poem a 'junk of crammed words'. However, since the eighteenth century Tasso was unquestionably included in the canon of the greatest Italian poets together with Dante, Petrarch and Ariosto. Throughout the history of Italian poetic language he was a crucial pivot point: the gatherer of the manifold experiences of rhetorical and stylistic renaissance as well as the forerunner of modern developments (...). For Giacomo Leopardi he was an example and an essential reservoir of peculiar and daring language and style, and in episodes of mannerism of twentieth-century poetry is not uncommon to detect the presence Tasso, for example in Ungaretti” (Enciclopedia Treccani)
Among the objects exhibited:
FIRST ROOM
Mask taken from his corpse, the urn that kept his ashes for many years, a metal crucifix given to him by the Pope and bequeathed by him to the monks, four chairs, a wooden casket adorned with twelve statues of saints, an inkwell made of wood, one small oval mirror, the yellow band with which he girded

SECOND ROOM
Various manuscripts and old editions of the Jerusalem Delivered and of other works of his