Saturday, April 28, 2018


1884/87 Luca Carimini (1830/90). Eclectic style
It was the first monumental sacred building to be built after 1870, the year Rome became capital of Italy
“The profession of stonemason is (...) the matrix of all the architectural work of Carimini: the genuine use of materials becomes the logical consequence of such an approach. The typological repertoire of the fifteenth century, especially investigated in minor architecture child and in details, which he had used for monuments and sepulchral chapels, gave him specific formal tools to be used in various situations, allowing wide margins of freedom of invention that he cleverly exploited in the general structure of the compositions. The fifteenth century is therefore read and absorbed in typical elements that lose any real reference and are composed in different ways with many effects. Shapes are stylized with obvious geometric corrections, offering a new perspective on the originality of the volumetric composition” (Giorgio Ciucci - Biographical Dictionary of Italian Treccani)
Columns of granite from Baveno, women's gallery and ten altars with paintings from the nineteenth century last results of the Nazarene and purist painting style
Large fresco “Apotheosis of the Franciscan Order” by Father Bonaventura Loffredo from Alghero in Sardinia
Bas-relief “Eucharist” by Luca Carimini
Triptych “St. Francis with Sts. Peter of Alcantara and Paschal Baylon” by Franz von Rhoden (1817/1923) one of the last Nazarene painters
“Japanese Martyrs” by Cesare Mariani (1826/1901)
1947/56 Mario Paniconi (1904/73) and Giulio Pediconi (1906/99)

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Built in the fifth century as S. Antonio Cata Barbara over the BASILICA OF JUNIUS BASSUS of the fourth century
Founded in 1308 with its current name near the eponymous hospital of the years 1263/66
Rebuilt in 1481 for Sixtus IV Della Rovere (1471/84)
Russian Catholic Church with Byzantine Slavonic Rite dedicated to St. Anthony of Egypt (about 251/356) hermit and founder of asceticism
St. Anthony of Egypt is usually shown next to a pig because the devil appeared to him in that form and he has therefore become protector of animals: every January 17 was celebrated here the blessing of the animals but, due to the heavy traffic in Via Carlo Alberto, it now takes place in front of the nearby church of S. Eusebio
Remade in 1932 by Antonio Muñoz (1884/1960) with magnificent Romanesque portal of the old hospital about 1265 maybe by Vassalletto
INTERIOR redone in about 1730
1583 by Domenico Fontana (1543/1607)
Frescoes in the drum about 1585 by Niccolò Circignani aka Pomarancio (about 1520/98)
“Crucifixion” by Giovanni Odazzi (1663/1731)
The church was incorporated by the PONTIFICAL RUSSICUM COLLEGE
1928/29 by Antonio Muñoz


1893/1900 Hildebrand of Hemptinne Belgian abbot and Francesco Vespignani (1842/99) in Lombard-Romanesque style
It is the Primatial Abbey of the Benedictine Order
It is the seat of the PONTIFICIO ATENEO S. ANSELMO IN URBE, the International Benedictine University offering courses in philosophy, theology and liturgy as well as various specialization courses
Mosaic of the second or third century AD with “Scenes of the myth of Orpheus” from the HOUSE OF LUCILLA PACTUMEIA whose ruins are in the basement
“Bastion of the Colonnella” 1540 fortification designed for the never finished walls of Rome for Pope Paul III (1534/49) by G.B. da Sangallo and Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546)

Friday, April 20, 2018


Begun in 1572 by Jacopo Barozzi aka Vignola (1507/73) for the Confraternity of the Palafrenieri (Grooms)
Finished in 1583 after his death by his son Giacinto Barozzi (about 1535-40/after 1584)
It was the first church in Rome to have an elliptical plan
It was the church of the palafrenieri (grooms) or the papal sediari (carriers of the papal chair), people that supported the gestatorial chair of the pope and accompanied the pope's carriage
In 1929, following the Conciliation between the Italian state and the church, S. Anna became the parish church of the Vatican and Pius XI Ratti (1922/39) assigned it to the Swiss Guards, designating for the palafrenieri the church of S. Caterina della Rota
1700/31 Alessandro Specchi (1668/1729), who also added the portal, the balustrade and the bell towers
1763 by Giovanni Domenico Navone (active since 1706/d. 1770)
Above the doors stucco panels 1746 by G.B. De Rossi
“Plaque in memory of the Marquis Del Grillo Onofrio (1714/87)”
He was an eccentric character famous for his practical jokes, a member of the palafrenieri and immortalized in the great 1981 film Il Marchese del Grillo directed by Mario Monicelli with the comedian Alberto Sordi. His tomb is in the church of S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini
Four frescoes “Scenes from the life of St. Anna” by Ignazio Stern (1679/1748)
“S. Anna and the Virgin Mary girl” 1927 copy by Arturo Viligiardi (1869/1936) from an original by Alessandro Franchi
Outside to the left of the church there is the unknown but extraordinary FOUNTAIN OF THE BEES by Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) who had also prepared a project for the façade of the church
To the right of the church S. ANNA's GATE 1931 by Giuseppe Momo (1875/1940)
It is the church of the SWISS GUARDS in Vatican territory
The Swiss Guards are currently 110 and are at the service of the pope since 1506
During the sack of Rome in 1527 they saved the life of Clement VII Medici (1523/34): 147 died and only 42 survived, escaping with the pope in Castel Sant'Angelo
To be admitted to the corps one must be male, have Swiss citizenship, be of Catholic faith, have served in the Swiss army obtaining a certificate of good conduct, be between 18 and 30 years of age, have minimum height of 174 cm (5.7 feet), being unmarried (marriage is only permitted for corporals and higher ranks), have a certificate of professional capacity or high school diploma and be ready for a minimum service of 25 months

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Diaconia (building for assistance and charity to the poor, the sick and pilgrims) dedicated to St. Paul, founded in the year 755, maybe on a previously existing church dating back to the fourth or sixth century, built in turn on the ruins of the PORTICO D’OTTAVIA
This information was taken from an inscription embedded on the left wall of the entrance room
In the twelfth century it was dedicated to S. Angelo and was named S. Angelo in Foro Piscium (St. Angel in the Forum of Fish) for the presence of the nearby fish market
Restored in 1583 by Martino Longhi the Elder (1534/91) and in 1599 by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602)
Other restorations in the years 1700, 1719, 1741, 1821
Last renovation in 1864 Alessandro Betocchi for Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78)
“The engineer Alessandro Betocchi, also intervened on the outside: he knocked down the huts on the left side of the front of the Propylaeum with the aim to restore its original appearance, he destroyed the wall that was partially hiding the arch and carried out an excavations to bring to light the Roman walkway. Inside he also freed the three columns and the façade of the church was moved back from them. The façade was plastered with the aim to put even more emphasis on the difference with the Roman ruins” (Pier Paolo Racioppi)
In 1929 the roof with trusses was rebuilt after the collapse of the vault in 1928
Here the Roman Jews were forced to listen to the sermons of the Jesuits who wanted to convert them
Above the altar “Apparition of the Blessed Trinity to Sts. Cyrus and Lorenzo” by G.B. Brughi (1660/1730) pupil of Baciccio
Above the altar “St. Andrew” maybe by Marco Tullio Montagna (1594/1649) from Velletri, pupil of Federico Zuccari
On the right “The Calling of St. Andrew” in 1619 by Bernardino Cesari (1571/1622), brother of Giuseppe Cesari aka Cavalier d'Arpino
Frescoes “Stories of St. Andrew, Evangelists and saints” about 1599 maybe by Innocenzo Tacconi (active in Rome 1607/25)
Coat of arms in the floor in opus sectile (inlaid marble) of the University of Fishmongers who had the chapel restored in 1618. The fish symbol is accompanied by the deer, symbol of old nobility and the Capitoline geese, symbol of fidelity
“St. Michael” 1862 copy by Angelo Augero of the famous original by Guido Reni in S. Maria della Concezione
Under the altar “Early Christian sarcophagus” with relics of St. Cyrus of Alexandria
Above the altar “Madonna and Child with Angels” 1450 maybe by Benozzo di Lese aka Benozzo Gozzoli (1420/97)
He was called Gozzoli by Giorgio Vasari in the 1568 edition of his book dedicated to the lives of the artists, but all the other existing documents identify him as Benozzo di Lese
It is a fresco that was detached from the outer wall of the church and was moved here to be better preserved
“He worked with Ghiberti (...), but he was born to art with Fra Angelico: it is assumed with convincing evidence that he was his help during the work in the Convent of S. Marco in Florence, and worked with him in March of the year 1447 in the Vatican and in June of the same year in Orvieto, in the Chapel of S. Brizio in the Duomo. (...) It is also likely that he helped Angelico with the frescoes in the Chapel of Nicholas V in the Vatican painted in those years. Benozzo became independent late, in his thirties, and always under the influence of the mystical severity of his teacher. But also his familiarity with Ghiberti left in him a clear pattern: that loving attention to the world around him and his pleasant capacity of materializing Angelico's style” (Emma Micheletti - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
“Wooden crucifix” of the sixteenth century
Above the entrance doors of the side aisles “St. Francis Caracciolo converts a courtesan” and “St. Francis Caracciolo adoration of the Eucharist” 1808 by Francesco Manno (1752/1831)
Oratory of St. Andrew of the Fishmongers 
1688/89 Filippo Tittoni
Façade with stucco restored in 1928
It was dedicated to St. Andrew, the apostle who was a fisherman
Inside the church “Busts of the Evangelists and of the Fathers of the Church” maybe by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736) and Michel Maille aka Michele Maglia (active in Rome in the second half of the seventeenth century)
It is now owned by the Municipality of Rome and it is used for commercial activities

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Described in 1192 in the sources as S. Andrea de Hortis (St. Andrew at the Parks) because, at the time, it was outside town
In the Middle Ages it belonged to the Scottish community in Rome
In 1585 it was donated by Pope Sixtus V Peretti (1585/90) to the Minims of S. Francis of Paola
It was rebuilt in 1604/12 for the Marquis Gaspare Del Bufalo by Gaspare Guerra (about 1560/1622) who also designed the façade up to the cornice
It was continued in the years 1653/67 by Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) for the Marquis Paolo Del Bufalo
Borromini worked on this church until his death and designed the APSE, the DRUM OF THE DOME without lantern that was never completed and the wonderful BELL TOWER that oscillates when the bells ring
For this reason it ended up being nicknamed the campanile ballerino (dancer bell tower)
“In this late stage of his evolution Borromini loved to soften the sharp lines of architecture with the rounded forms of sculpture and the cherubim-herms, a personal invention of his, very far from any classical model, fascinated him in this context. The upper element of the tower consists of four reversed volutes wonderfully elastic: on them a crown with sharp points is precariously balanced: all of it is a triumph of complex spatial relationships and a bizarre concept in which the top of the tower blends with the sky and with air” (Rudolf Wittkower)
“Bricks are used here to be finished by plaster, but the quality of the implementation, as well as having great significance because it highlights the technique of the various phases of construction, has a unique charm and is reminiscent of the unfinished works by Michelangelo. (...) Even for the tiburium Borromini had thought of some free ribs rising up, a foregoer of the freedom of plastic development made possible later on only by the technique of reinforced concrete” (Paolo Portoghesi)
It was completed in the years 1686/91 by Mattia De Rossi (1637/95)
Completed in 1826 by Pasquale Belli (1752/1833), designer of the plan of the new Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
“Fourteen Stations of the Cross” 1818 of various Italian artists of Purist orientation and German artists of the circle of the Nazarenes including Johannes Veit (1790/1854) (1st) and his brother Philipp Veit (1793/1877) (5th), Giuseppe Capparoni (3rd and 11th) and others
In the church there is the tomb of the painter Angelica Kauffmann and of her husband Antonio Zucchi
On the right:
“Gravestones of the Duchess of Livia Grillo and of her daughter Maria Teresa Doria Tursi” in 1752 by the Genoese Francesco Queirolo (1704/62), a student of Antonio Corradini with whom he worked in the amazing Sansevero Chapel in Naples
On the left:
“Tomb of Cardinal Leopoldo Calcagnini” 1746/48 by Pietro Bracci (1700/73)
“From 1600 onwards the pyramid, a symbol of eternity, was used for an increasing number of tombs in Rome and in Italy and soon also in the rest of Europe; but the combination with a painting was never seen before the early 1700s. Even if in the personification of Fame Bracci used the traditional baroque language of forms, the spirit of these tombs is very different from the one of the Baroque period. What is expressed through the accessories of Bracci's monument, is the rather trivial certainty that the memory of the deceased will be kept alive for eternity” (Rudolf Wittkower)
“Temple of wood” painted 1674/79 by Guillaume Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79)
Altarpiece “Baptism of Christ” 1683 and lunette “Eternal Father” by Ludovico Gimignani (1643/97)
On the left “St. Lucia” by Domenico Jacovacci and on the right “St. Agatha” by Marcantonio Bellavia
Altarpiece “St. Michael the Archangel”
On the left “Charity of St. Charles Borromeo”
On the right “Apparition of the Virgin to St. Frances of Rome” about 1657 all painted by Francesco Cozza (1605/82) excellent pupil of Domenichino
Altarpiece “St. Francis of Paola gives the cord of the Third Order to St. Francis de Sales and to the Blessed Joan of Valois” by Marcantonio Romoli pupil of Sebastiano Conca
On the left “Tomb of Cardinal Pier Luigi Carafa” about 1759 by Pietro Bracci (1700/73), designed by Paolo Posi (1708/76)
Altarpiece “Virgin Mary with the Blessed Gaspare De Bono and Nicolò Saggio” by Giuseppe Cades (1750/99)
On the left pillar “Tomb of Michaela Fauvet” d. 1845 by Giovanni Maria Benzoni (1799/1873)
“Sts. Charles Borromeo and Frances of Rome intercede for the end of the plague” by Francesco Cozza
Opposite “Tomb of Mulai Akmet Prince of Morocco” 1739 by Filippo Baldi
1726/36 by Filippo Barigioni (about 1680/1753)
Altarpiece “St. Francis of Paola, with the insignia and the motto of the Order of the Minims” by Paris Nogari (about 1536/1601)
“Angels” and “Putti” in stucco by G.B. Maini (1690/1752)
High reliefs on the right “Ecstasy of St. Francis of Paola” by Pietro Bracci, on the left “Archangel Michael delivers the motto Caritas to St. Francis of Paola” by G.B. Maini
1728 Francesco Ferruzzi
“Redemption” and vault of the presbytery “Multiplication of the loaves and fishes” late 1600s by Pasquale Marini (about 1660/about 1712), a pupil of Carlo Maratta
“Doctors of the Latin Church and Eastern Europe” also by Pasquale Marini even if by some scholars are attributed to Francesco Cozza
Paintings of the years 1691/1704:
On the left “Crucifixion of St. Andrew” by G.B. Lenardi
In the center “Death of St. Andrew” by Lazzaro Baldi (about 1624/1703)
On the right “Deposition from the Cross of St. Andrew” by Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746)
“Angel carrying Titulus Crucis with INRI inscription” and “Angel carrying Crown of Thorns” 1667/69 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) for Clement IX Rospigliosi (1667/69)
The two marvelous masterpieces were donated to the church in 1729 by Prospero Bernini, the grandson of the master, who had bought them from the heirs of the pope who had them replaced with copies on Sant'Angelo's Bridge, not to save them from the weather, as it is usually said, but to have them shipped to Pistoia, his hometown
“The angel with the crown of thorns is pretty solid, and combines the drapery invested by the wind (which Bernini had previously used for the angels of St. Peter's Chair) with the drapery's bow boldly jutting out, which echoes the shape of the crown and almost divides the body in two. The other angel, holding the inscription, shows a highly emotional state of mind, almost neurotic, has very slender proportions and he is appropriately dressed in a robe whose folds are broken, they overlap, they roll up with restless, nervous trends” (Rudolf Wittkower)
Above the side doors of the presbytery “St. Andrew led to Martyrdom” and “Flagellation of St. Andrew” about 1707 maybe by Giovanni Antonio Grecolini (1675/1725)
1749/51 Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) and 1822 Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839) with his father Luigi Valadier (1726/85) to whom the entire work has recently been assigned
“St. Anne, St. Joachim and Mary child” 1759 by Giuseppe Bottani
Under the altar reclining statue of “St. Anna” 1750/52 by G.B. Maini (1690/1752)
Stucco and nineteenth-century reliefs by Luigi Fontana (1827/1908)
“Tombstone tomb of the Prince from Lorraine Nicolò Simone” 1734 by Filippo Baldi
Renewed in 1883 by Virginio Vespignani (1808/82)
“St. Joseph with the Child” 1632 by Francesco Cozza (1605/82)
On the right “St. Joseph adoring the Child” and on the left “Marriage of the Virgin” by Giuseppe Capparoni
1950 Marcello Piacentini (1881/1960)
“Our Lady of the Miracle” by Natale Carta (1790/1884)
The miracle in question was the apparition of Our Lady to the Jew Alfonzo Ratisbonne who had entered the church to admire the architecture and then ended up converting
Tabernacle by Alfredo Biagini (1886/1952)
Side paintings: “Apparition of the Virgin to Ratisbonne” and on the left “Baptism of the Jew” by Domenico Bartolini (1827/84)
On the altar of this chapel the Polish priest, who later became saint, Maximilian Kolbe celebrated his first Mass
He died in the concentration camp of Auschwitz in 1941, sacrificing himself instead of another prisoner. He had hidden some 2,000 Jews from the Nazis in his convent at Niepokalanòv
1661/73 Giovanni Somazzi
Plaques in memory of the sailors who died in the two world wars
Vault “Eternal Father” maybe by Guillaume Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79)
Altarpiece “Virgin Mary with saints and donors” by an anonymous seventeenth-century artist
On the sides there are the oldest frescoes in the church: on the right “Nativity of the Virgin” and on the left “Annunciation” by Avanzino Nucci (1552/1629)
In the room before the entrance to the sacristy SMALL CHAPEL OF S. FRANCIS OF PAOLA 1723 with the painting “St. Francis of Paola in adoration of the Cross” 1722 by Giovanni Odazzi (1663/1731)
“Crucifix” by Ludovico Gimignani (1643/97)
Vault “St. Francis of Paola in the ecstasy of the three crowns” by Giacomo Triga (1674/1746) pupil of Benedetto Luti
Fresco “Crucifix and St. Francis of Paola” about 1640 by Francesco Cozza (1605/82)
Begun in the years 1595/99 by Gaspare Guerra (about 1560/1622), completed in 1734
“Six lunettes with stories of St. Francis of Paola” by Francesco Cozza and maybe Pasquale Marini (about 1660/about 1712), Augusto Rosa son of Salvator Rosa and Francesco Gherardi

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)