Monday, April 9, 2018


Built in the area of​ a square called “Siena” from a building that had been built here for Enea Silvio Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II (1458/64)
In 1582 the Countess Piccolomini d'Aragona Duchess of Amalfi bequeathed the family mansion to the Regular Clerks also known as Theatins founded in 1524 by Gian Pietro Carafa, later Paul IV (1555/59), and St. Cajetan of Thiene, provided a church would be built dedicated to St. Andrew patron saint of Amalfi
1591/93 Fra' Francesco Grimaldi supervised by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) for the Theatins and for Cardinal Alfonso Gesualdo on the area of the destroyed church S. Sebastiano de Via Papae
Works continued in the years 1594/96 with Pietro Paolo Olivieri (1551/99)
New continuation of the works from 1608 with Carlo Maderno (1556/1629) for Cardinal Alessandro Peretti Montalto nephew of Pope Sixtus V
NAVE 1612/13
TRANSEPT and CHOIR 1620/21
In 1621 Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) worked on the capitals of the lantern
1622, the fifth (16.10 m - 52.8 feet) larger in diameter in Rome after the Pantheon (43.3 m - 142.06 feet), S. Peter's (42.56 m - 139.6 feet), S. Giovanni Bosco al Quadraro (31 m - 101.7 feet) and Sts. Peter and Paul in the EUR district (28 m - 91.8 feet)
Consecrated in 1650 by Cardinal Francesco Peretti nephew of Cardinal Alessandro Peretti Montalto
The church is also known for having been chosen by the composer Giacomo Puccini as the setting of the first act of his opera Tosca, based on the stage play of the same name by the French Victorien Sardou
In the plot a mysterious Attavanti Chapel is mentioned, but a chapel with that name never existed in the church. The only Attavanti Chapel of Rome is in the church of S. Bernardino da Siena
1656/65 Carlo Rainaldi (1611/91) with the help of his assistant Carlo Fontana (1634/1714), who developed an existing project by Maderno
According to Cesare Brandi, when Corso Vittorio Emanuele II was enlarged it produced a distortion of visual perception of the façade. It was designed to have the viewer closes to it, while distance vision produces a visual compression of the columns
“The current baroque façade is a baroque alteration of Carlo Rainaldi of a design by Maderno. The design, in turn, was purified and freed from any ambiguity by Carlo Fontana” (Rudolf Wittkower)
Statues on the façade:
On the left “St. Cajetan of Thiene” by Domenico Guidi (1625/1701) and “St. Andrew” by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86)
On the right “St. Sebastian” by Domenico Guidi and “St. Andrew Avellino” by Ercole Ferrata
On the arched pediment of the portal “Hope and Fortitude” by Giacomo Antonio Fancelli (1619/71) who had sculpted the Nile in the nearby Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona
On the left side “Angel” by Ercole Ferrata not replicated on the right side and tied to an anecdote: when the statue was erected, it was much criticized and Ercole Ferrata, having learned that Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67) had joined the critics, said: “If he wants another angel, he can do it himself!”
“For St. Andrew the Apostle and St. Andrew Avellino, Ferrata used perhaps sketches of Melchiorre Caffà, which allowed him to achieve greater dynamism and chiaroscuro effects. Ferrata was also responsible for sculpting the imposing angel on the top left depicting Fame” (Gerardo Casale - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
The façade was cleaned in 1991, but it is, unfortunately, already dirty
Painted in 1905 in panels imitating those by Domenichino in the choir
Stuccos by Michele Tripisciano (1860/1913)
“Apparition of the Immaculate to Sister Orsola Benincasa” and “Expulsion from Paradise” by Salvatore Nobili (1865/1919)
“Proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception” and “Visitation” by Virginio Monti (1852/1942)
“Holy Family” and “Annunciation” by Cesare Caroselli (1847/1927)
“Apostles” in the lunettes of the windows by Silvio Galimberti (1869/1956)
1667/84 Carlo Fontana (1634/1714)
Relief “Angel announces the Flight into Egypt” 1675 by Ercole Antonio Raggi (1624/86) who also sculpted the “Statue of Cardinal Marzio Ginetti” on the left
Copies made in the seventeenth century of statues by Michelangelo
On the left “Tomb of the Marquise Prassede Tomati Robilant” 1828 by Giuseppe De Fabris (1790/1860)
“Tomb of Pius III” Piccolomini (1503) maybe by Sebastiano Ferrucci or Francesco di Giovanni
It was moved here in 1614, with the tomb of Pius II, from the ruined chapel of St. Andrew of the old Basilica of St. Peter
Renovated in 1858
“Illness of St. Andrew Avellino during Mass in St. Paul in Naples” 1625 by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647). The painting was carried out, according to tradition, in just eight days
On the right “Tomb of Gioacchino Ventura” 1870 by Stefano Galletti (1832/1905), a pupil of Pietro Tenerani
To the right of the presbytery CHAPEL OF THE CRUCIFIX with the body of S. Giuseppe Maria Tomasi, canonized in 1986
“It was in Parma that the artist found the stimuli to abandon his initial classicism assimilated through contacts with Reni and Domenichino: the vision of the dome of the cathedral with frescoes by Correggio of the years 1526/30 was an ideal model, so much that Lanfranco took on and developed in his Assumption that proposal before its time, breaking out with the fundamental principles of balance and harmony. The relationship with the viewer is now played on the direct emotional involvement. Again Correggio-like is the use of light: placed over the figures, it moves in a descending way and at the same time, as a physical component coming from the holes, causes an illusionistic dilation towards the infinite space of the heavens. Shapes, whose contours disappear in motion, regain their relief in the unity of light. The dome caused astonishment in Rome and it started a new phase of decoration of domes and vaults: the Baroque illusionism” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
Thirteen sections with “Stories of St. Andrew, Virtues and two nudes” 1622/28 by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641)
“This arch-classicist seemed tempted by the new Baroque trend. This is clearly visible in the Evangelists, where a strong Correggio note is added to the reminiscences of Raphael and Michelangelo. One could assume that Domenichino wanted to outshine his rival Lanfranco. In the apse scenes, while individual episodes are still strictly separated by decorated ribs, the scenario is expanded and figures move more deeply in it than they used to do before, some in perfect coordination with the lush landscapes surrounding them. Domenichino appears to be inspired also by Ludovico Carracci, another sign of his departure from his orthodox classicism of ten years before” (Rudolf Wittkower)
The two great artists and rivals, Giovanni Lanfranco and Domenichino, found themselves working at the same time, despite their will, only a few meters away. It is documented the purchase of a tent which served to hide from each other their respective work
“Rome, in the alternative between Classicism and Baroque - that opposed Domenichino and Lanfranco and that was carried out, because of the extraordinary coincidences that sometimes the randomness of history gives us, on the surfaces of the same church - had already chosen Baroque: its freedom of design and invention that was in stark contrast with the principles of Domenichino. Its transcending the likelihood in imagination. Its considering immediacy, the transience of the real true as a testing ground of art which therefore can be fixed only with the speed of execution and not with the slow methodical planning. The pope who ushered Baroque in painting, with the dome of Lanfranco in May 1627, was Urban VIII Barberini who, doing so, unsettled the known idea of painting, but also unsettled the image of Rome. It was the pope who called Bernini and Pietro da Cortona to create this new image. For Domenichino there was no room in this vision, as there was no room for Francesco Albani, Guercino and Guido Reni. They all left Rome” (Anna Coliva)
Divisions in golden stucco by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654)
“Crucifixion”, “Martyrdom” and “Burial of St. Andrew” 1650/51 by Mattia Preti (1613/99)
“His appointment in the congregation of the Virtuosi of the Pantheon (1650) coincided with the execution of the monumental frescoes of the choir and tribune of S. Andrea della Valle in Rome, which seem to have been completed in 1651. Alongside the works of Domenichino and Lanfranco the three large paintings (...), are binding for their all new strength and breadth of style. The diagonal composition, emphasized by the bodies, the choice of simple perspective axes, the beautiful paint, the airiness of the scenes are elements that put the artist well up in the art scene of his time” (Enciclopedia Treccani)
At the sides on the right “Arrival in Ancona of Cardinal Basilios Bessarion with the head of St. Andrew” and on the left “Condemnation of St. Andrew” 1662 by Carlo Cignani (1628/1719), a pupil of Francesco Albani
To the left of the presbytery CHAPEL OF PURITY with decorations of the early 1900s
1912 by Cesare Bazzani (1873/1939)
Above the altar “Apparition of the Virgin Mary to St. Cajetan of Thiene” 1770 by the Sicilian Mattia de Mare
Statues of “Abundance” and “Wisdom” by Giulio Tadolini (1849/1918)
Statues on the pediment by Michele Tripisciano (1860/1913)
Paintings in the vault by Silvio Galimberti (1869/1956)
“Tomb of Pius II” (1458/64) maybe begun by Paolo Taccone aka Paolo Romano (about 1415/77) and finished by a follower of Andrea Bregno known as the Master of Pius II for Cardinal Francesco Todeschini
In the relief there is the presentation of the head of St. Andrew to Pius II. The tomb was originally in the old Basilica of St. Peter
“Tomb of Count Gaspare Thiene” 1676 by Domenico Guidi (1625/1701)
Above the altar “St. Sebastian” about 1613 by Giovanni De Vecchi (about 1537/1615)
On the sides “Stories of the Sts. Rocco and Martha” about 1869 by Guido Guidi (1867/1911)
1603/04 by Matteo Castelli (1560/1632), probably designed by Carlo Maderno
Matteo Castelli came from Melide in Switzerland
He was a relative of Borromini and later became the chief architect of the king of Poland, for whom he designed castles, palaces and churches, taking to the largest Polish cities the Roman style of Carlo Maderno
Above the altar “Blessed Theatins Marinoni, Burali and Tomasi” first half of 1700s by Francesco Manno (1752/1831)
Monsignor Giovanni Della Casa (1503/56) was a writer and archbishop, famous for being the author of the manual of good manners and etiquette Galateo overo de' costumi (Etiquette or about costumes)
Damaged frescoes and dome painted by Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio (1552/1626)
1604/16 Matteo Castelli, with marble taken from buildings of the Forum, for Carlo Barberini and his brother Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII (1623/44)
“Maffeo had chosen some of the best sources of inspiration: the superb Caetani chapel of S. Pudenziana, the one dedicated to St. Lawrence in the church of S. Susanna, the precious marbles of S. Cecilia, the Aldobrandini family chapel by Della Porta in S. Maria sopra Minerva and the Rucellai chapel that the architect Castelli was about to carry out with a successful project” (Cesare D'Onofrio)
Altarpiece “Assumption”, paintings on the walls “Stories of Mary,” in the small dome “Eternal Father”, in the DOME, in the niche on the left “Lucina collects St. Sebastian” 1604 by Domenico Crespi aka Passignano (1559/1638)
In the niches there are important statues:
On the right:
“S. Marta” 1609/17 masterpiece by Francesco Mochi (1580/1654)
Mochi had almost completed in 1611 when he had to go to Parma to sculpt the equestrian statues for the Farnese family. It was placed in the chapel on the floor in front of its niche only in 1617, probably in order to be retouched, and it was finally placed in a niche in 1621
Martha was the sister of Mary Magdalene and, according to a Provencal legend, she had killed a dragon with holy water. Mochi depicted here the very determined saint who is about to use the sprinkler while holding the dragon still with her left hand
“It's not a fight scene between Martha and the dragon, it seems rather a scene of victory, so much is the self-confidence in the expression of the beautiful face and in the peaceful and intent attitude of the entire body, draped in a robe with large and discrete folds. I could not really say how many statues, in the chapels of Rome, can compete with this Martha of Bethany” (Cesare D'Onofrio)
“St. John the Evangelist” 1610/12 masterpiece by Ambrogio Buonvicino (about 1552/1622)
On the left:
“St. John the Baptist” 1615 by Pietro Bernini (1562/1629), who replaced Nicolas Cordier (1567/1612) who had been given originally the job, but died in 1612
“The comparison between Buonvicino's St. John the Evangelist and the St. John the Baptist made by Pietro Bernini shows again the cultural differences already present in the Pauline Chapel. The thin figure with minute features of the Baptist carved by Pietro, with his gentle twisting of the body and the dense drilling of marble at the level of the hair and the lamb is still heir to the tradition of Mannerism from Tuscany and Rome. The strong and vigorous statue by Buonvicino seems to oppose that sharp and rarefied elegance that, marked by a sweet naturalness and a calm expression completely Lombard” (Alessandro Angelini)
“St. Mary Magdalene” 1609/12 by Cristoforo Stati (1556/1619)
“Pair of putti” to the left by Francesco Mochi. They replaced in the third decade of the seventeenth century the original ones by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
“Pair of putti” on the right 1618 early work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)
The other statues are by Cristoforo Stati
“Tombs of the parents of Urban VIII, Antonio Barberini and Camilla Barbadori” 1627 by Tommaso Fedeli. They replaced the original busts of the years 1619/20 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
1629 Paolo Marucelli (1594/1649)
“Crucifixion” about 1614 by Giovanni De Vecchi (about 1537/1615)
1602 Girolamo Rainaldi (1570/1655) and Paolo Marucelli (1594/1649)

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