Sunday, March 3, 2019

St. MARY OF THE MIRACLES

S. MARIA DEI MIRACOLI
1675/79 Carlo Rainaldi (1611/91) with the financing of Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi for the Reformed of the Third Order of St. Francis of the Congregation of France
It was built on the site of the destroyed church of S. Orsola (St. Ursula)
Continued by Carlo Fontana (1634/1714), completed in 1681
Twin church of the nearby S. Maria di Montesanto that still was not finished when this was begun
As in S. Maria di Montesanto the project of Rainaldi was constrained by the measures of the columns recycled from the destroyed bell towers of Bernini for St. Peter
“The church has a fa├žade that repeats identical certain elements of its twin but with a larger body that forced Bernini - during the resumption of the work of S. Maria di Montesanto - to design the high side of the drum of that church, facing the square, of exactly the same size to mask the different shapes of the dome (here octagonal) and of the plant, circular in shape with only two chapels on each side, focusing therefore the visual attention toward the top of the buildings, rebalanced for symmetrical intent” (Stefano Petrocchi)
Restored in 1825 when the DOME was covered with shards of slate

BELL TOWER
1760/65 by Giovanni Domenico Navone (known since 1706/d. 1770)

UPPER PART OF THE PORCH
“Ten statues of saints of the Franciscan Order” about 1677 by various artists including Ercole Ferrata (1610/86), Lazzaro Morelli (1608/90), Filippo Carcani (active 1670/91), Michel Maille aka Michele Maglia (active in Rome in the second half of the seventeenth century), Lorenzo Tedesco and Cosimo Fancelli (1620/88)

INTERIOR
Statues on the walls including “Fame of Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi” by Ercole Antonio Raggi (1624/86)

1st RIGHT - CHAPEL OF THE ASSUMPTION AND St. GREGORY THAUMATURGUS
Above the altar “Assumption and St. Gregory Thaumaturgus” by an anonymous artist of the nineteenth-century from the ruined church of S. Chiara
To the right of the altar “Funerary monument of the Marquis Guglielmi di Castro and of his wife” with “Hope” in the upper part 1868 by Cesare Benaglia (?/d. 1884)

2nd RIGHT - CHAPEL OF St. JOSEPH
Above the altar “St. Joseph with the Child and Angels” and two ovals with “Christ and Mary Magdalene in the house of Simon the Pharisee” and “Jesus in the House of Martha and Mary” by an anonymous eighteenth-century Roman artist
In front of the altar copy of the “Virgin of Betharram” 1916. The original is in the sanctuary near Lourdes
“Bronze Crucifix” by Pericle Fazzini (1913/87)

TO THE RIGHT OF THE PRESBYTERY
“Funerary monument of Benedetto Gastaldi brother of the Cardinal” by Carlo Fontana with statues “Faith” and “Hope” by Girolamo Lucenti (?/1698)

MAIN ALTAR
1677 Carlo Fontana (1634/1714)
On the altar copy of 1599 of the venerated “Our Lady of Miracles” from the original now in S. Giacomo in Augusta, originally kept in the Chapel of Our Lady of Miracles housed in a tower of the Aurelian Walls in the stretch along the Tiber
According to tradition, a woman with the same appearance of Our Lady in 1525 would have saved a child who was drowning in the River Tiber
“Angels” in stucco by Ercole Antonio Raggi (1624/86)
“In St. Mary of the Miracles Fontana was left to direct the works after Rainaldi in 1677 and he did not fail to decorate the chapel of the choir according to his intentions and, as far as possible, following a unifying criterion. The main altar, with the columns that fall toward the center, is designed as a scene (...). Coordinated with this set are the two tombs for Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi and his brother Benedict. Following the maxims of Bernini, Fontana was able to use a tight site, a dead space between the side doors and the balconies of the choruses, to the benefit of the monuments that became elements of connection(Helmut Hager - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
TO THE LEFT OF THE PRESBYTERY
“Funerary monument of Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi” by Carlo Fontana with statues “Prudence” and “Temperance” by Ercole Antonio Raggi

2nd LEFT - CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
Above the altar nineteenth century copy of “Our Lady of the Rosary” by G.B. Salvi aka Sassoferrato (1609/85) in the Basilica of St. Sabina
On the sides ovals “Stories of the True Cross” by an anonymous Roman artist of the late eighteenth century

1st LEFT - CHAPEL OF St. ANTHONY
Above the altar “Virgin and Child with Sts. Anthony of Padua and Antonio Abate” the only recognized work by the Frenchman Henri Gascard (1634/1701)
Under the altar relics of St. Candida from the Catacomb of S. Priscilla
On the wall “Funerary monument of the sculptor Antonio d'Este” m.1837
He was a pupil of Antonio Canova and he succeeded him in the post of director of the Vatican Museums

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