Monday, March 4, 2019


Small chapel erected in 1099 by Paschal II (1099/1118) at the expense of the Roman people on the DOMITII MAUSOLEUM where Nero had been buried
Perhaps it was built as a vow of thanksgiving on the occasion of the liberation of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem by the Crusaders
Enlarged in 1227 for Gregory IX (1227/41)
It was entrusted in 1250 to the Augustinians
Rebuilt in the years 1475/77 by an unknown architect, maybe Andrea Bregno (1418/1503) for Sixtus IV Della Rovere (1471/84)
Early 1500s, works by Donato Bramante (1444/1514) and Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520)
Second half of 1600s, works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) and Carlo Fontana (1634/1714)
1811/13 destruction of the CONVENT of the fifteenth century, rebuilt by Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839)
Martin Luther lived for several months in 1511 in the original convent and it was here that his desire to reform the church was ultimately transformed into a resolution and will

End of 1400s modified by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
“Rose window held by two angels” by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86)

On the upper part, second entablature with dentils “Sixteen statues of saints” in stucco designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini with statues executed by his assistant:
“Sts. Clare and Scholastica” by Ercole Ferrata
“Sts. Catherine, Barbara, Thecla and Apollonia” by Ercole Antonio Raggi (1624/86)
“Sts. Catherine, Theresa, Agnes and Martina” by Giovanni Francesco De Rossi (active 1640/77)
“St. Praxedes” by Pietro Paolo Naldini (1619/91)
“Sts. Cecilia and Ursula” by Giovanni Antonio Mari (active from 1635/d. 1661)
“St. Pudentiana” by Lazzaro Morelli (1608/90)
“Sts. Dorothy and Agatha” by Giuseppe Peroni (about 1626/63)
Entrance arch to the transept “Allegorical figures holding a coat of arms” by Ercole Antonio Raggi

Right End Side of the Church

Balustrade by Andrea Bregno (1418/1503)
“Nativity” about 1490 by Bernardino di Betto aka Pinturicchio (1454/1513)
“The natural gifts of Pinturicchio were huge, and his early works are among the most faithful representations of the refined splendor and elegant life of the great patrons and contemporary humanists. They do their best to please us and draw us, by the grace of feeling, the beauty of female figures, the romantic views, the clarity of composition and the magnificent portraits. And since any more serious purpose was carefully avoided, nothing is in them that would expect to take to a higher level” (Bernard Berenson)
Frescoes 1485/89 by Tiberio d'Assisi (about 1460-70/1524)
On the left “Tombs of Cardinals Cristoforo and Domenico Della Rovere” (brothers from Piedmont relatives of Sixtus IV), maybe by Andrea Bregno (1418/1503)

1682/87 Carlo Fontana (1634/1714)
“The initial project was organized following the method of concentric circles, while for the final version it was preferred a Greek cross instead with very short arms in depth, except for that of the vestibule. Through the placement of columns and round sculptures on the side walls Fontana was able to guide the viewer's gaze towards the altar and the picture above, in which the figures of saints and of the Immaculate are in such a spatial relationship to each other to create an effect of depth without resorting to illusionistic tricks” (Helmut Hager - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Formerly painted by Pinturicchio
Above the altar “Immaculate Conception and Saints” by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)
On the sides of the “Twin tombs of Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo (founder of the chapel) and Cardinal Cybo Alderano” 1683/84 by Francesco Cavallini (active 1672/1703) who also designed the sculptures on the altar
Dome painted by Luigi Garzi (1638/1721)
In the vestibule of the chapel, on the right “Martyrdom of St. Catherine” by Daniele Seiter (1649/1705) and on the left “Martyrdom of St. Lawrence” by Giovanni Maria Morandi (1622/1717)

Frescoes by pupils of Bernardino di Betto aka Pinturicchio
Floor of the fifteenth century with tiles from Deruta

Frescoes by pupils of Bernardino di Betto aka Pinturicchio
“Marble Triptych with, in the middle, St. Catherine of Alexandria and, at the sides, St. Vincent Zaragoza and St. Anthony of Padua” by the school of Andrea Bregno (1418/1503) for Cardinal Jorge de Costa, who wanted to represent St. Catherine in honor of Catherine, daughter of the king of Portugal, thanks to whom he had made an important ecclesiastical career
At the center “Tomb of Bishop Pietro Foscari” 1480 with bronze statue by the Sienese Lorenzo di Pietro aka Vecchietta (about 1412/80)
“Tomb of Cardinal Jorge de Costa” d. 1509

1657/59 Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)
Above the altar “Visitation” about 1659 by Giovanni Maria Morandi (1622/1717)
Sculptures of “Angels” supporting the frame on the right by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86), on the left by Arrigo Giardè

In the upper part with oak trees, symbols of the Chigi family, surrounding the organ 1656/57 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini with statues by Ercole Antonio Raggi and beautiful oak branches by the engraver Antonio Chicari


1627 at the behest of Cardinal Antonio Sauli who also had the stucco decoration carved on the big arch
1500/1509 by Donato Bramante (1444/1514)
On the left “Monument of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza” 1505 with the snake emblem
On the right “Monument of Cardinal Girolamo Basso Della Rovere” 1507 with the emblem of the oak, masterpieces by Andrea Contucci aka Andrea Sansovino (1460/1529)
“The architectural type of the tomb was updated to the solemn forms of Bramante (inserting a large triumphal arch) and the modeling of the figures to the rounded plastic and to the chiaroscuro of Raphael. The vague similarities in taste tend furthermore to specify a more explicit intentional transposition in sculpture of the language of painting, and it is significant that the language that Andrea Sansovino wants to plastically translate is Raphael's and his school's” (Giulio Carlo Argan)
“Stories of Christ” and “Life of the Virgin Mary” 1509 by Guillaume de Marcillat (about 1469/1529)
Frescoes “Coronation of Mary” with “Evangelists, Sibyls and Doctors of the Church” 1508/10 by Bernardino di Betto aka Pinturicchio (1454/1513)

Left End Side of the Church

1600 Carlo Maderno (1556/1629) for Monsignor Tiberio Cerasi
In the center of the ceiling “Coronation of the Virgin”, on the sides “Quo Vadis” and “Conversion of St. Paul” 1601 by Annibale Carracci (1560/1609) with his pupil Innocenzo Tacconi (active in Rome 1607/25)
On the altar “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” 1601 by Annibale Carracci
“In the two decades of activity in Rome - 1595/1605 - Annibale became the creator of a grand manner, a dramatic style, supported by a careful study of nature, antiquity, Raphael and Michelangelo. And from this style, equally admired by men at odds with each other such as Poussin and Bernini, derived all the official painting of the next 150 years” (Rudolf Wittkower)
“Caravaggio puts us as spectators almost from the perspective of the man on the ground who has the enormous horse above him and the indecipherable entanglement, between quadruped and servant, of the gnarled and varicose veins. Everything is suddenly stamped on his mind by that beam of light that now seals in his shut eyelids the appearance of blind pupils of the Roman busts. With this discreet hint, eliminating down to the bone the iconographic tradition of the time, he executed perhaps the most revolutionary painting in the history of sacred art” (Roberto Longhi)
“Things happen with innocent evidence where everyone is simply doing his job. The servants are workers who labor and are not executioners keen to be cruel, given the situations. The saint looks at us calm, conscious as a modern secular hero” (Roberto Longhi)
“He painted the stillness, not the action. (...) The Crucifixion took place in the same intimacy of the Conversion: no transcendental presence, no spectators or witnesses to the killing of the elderly man except us, and we are brought so close to the scene like no one could ever be. It was another strictly private event” (Peter Robb)
Two masterpieces by Michelangelo Merisi aka Caravaggio (1571/1610)
The canvases were placed in the chapel in 1605 as a replacement of the paintings made ​​on cypress wood of similar subject but completely different in the composition executed in 1601 and never put in place perhaps in consequence of the death of the client in 1601
The previous “Conversion” is in the Palazzo Odescalchi, the “Crucifixion” perhaps in a Spanish monastery
“From such a comparison the Assumption of Annibale could appear insipid and even tiring, but it is worth noting that, as in the two works by Caravaggio, is the overwhelming mass of the figures that dominates the painting. Despite this triumph of the massive sculptural figure Annibale shows that he never forgot the lesson learned from Titian and Correggio. Fusing the Venetian color with the Roman drawing, treating pictorially the classic austerity of form, he showed that these ancient contrasts were not irreconcilable” (Rudolf Wittkower)
Designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)
On the altar “Holy Family” by Bernardino Mei (1612/76)
“Two Angels” on the right by Ercole Antonio Raggi, on the left by Giovanni Antonio Mari (active from 1635/d. 1661)

In the upper part with oak trees, symbols of the Chigi family, surrounding the organ 1656/57 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini with statues by Ercole Antonio Raggi

Wooden crucifix of the XV century

Vault 1623/24 by Giovanni Mannozzi aka Giovanni da S. Giovanni (1592/1636)
On the left “Monument of Cardinal Garcia Mellini” about 1630 masterpiece by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654) of whom are also the “Busts of Urban and Mario Mellini” on the sides of the altar

Designed by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520), commissioned by Agostino Chigi (1466/1520) as the family mausoleum
It was begun in the years 1513/14 by Lorenzo Lotti aka Lorenzetto (1490/1541) and completed in the years 1650/56 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) for Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67)
It was formerly a funerary chapel sacred to the Borgia family, who had buried here the second son of Alexander VI Borgia (1492/1503), Juan of Gandia, who had been killed on June 14, 1497 by his brother Cesare, and his mother Vannozza Cattanei
Design for the mosaics of the dome “God with symbols of the sun and the seven planets” by Raphael executed in 1516 by the mosaics expert Luigi De Pace who had especially come from Venice
“A civilization that owed to classical culture whatever was its best part, had finally found the artist who was needed in that specific moment: the Illustrator who was able to interpret antiquity in unsurpassed visual images, and so filled the most elevated desires. We can say that Raphael was the greatest artist of Humanism, and that he remained the artist for those who have been trained on the classical world” (Bernard Berenson)
Between the windows EIGHT COMPARTMENTS with scenes of the “Creation” and “Original Sin” and in the SPANDRELS “Four Seasons” about 1550 by Francesco de' Rossi aka Francesco Salviati (1510/63)
LUNETTES of the seventeenth-century by the Sienese Raffaele Vanni (1587/1673)
Oil painting on wall “Birth of the Virgin Mary” by Sebastiano Luciani aka Sebastiano Del Piombo (1485/1547) commissioned in 1526 (he had been commissioned also the paintings between the windows), still incomplete in 1547 (his death) and completed in about 1554 by Francesco de' Rossi aka Francesco Salviati
Bronze relief on the altar, “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman” by Lorenzo Lotti aka Lorenzetto (1490/1541) originally for one of the tombs that was supposed to be that of Francesca Ordeasca wife of Agostino Chigi and not the tomb of his brother Sigismondo
However, since Sigismondo was the great-grandfather of Fabio Chigi, later Pope Alexander VII, he was by him honored with a grave that was not his
In the niches of the pillars “Prophets of the Resurrection”
Marble sculpture “Habakkuk and the Angel” 1656/61 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)
Marble sculpture “Jonah coming out of the whale” 1520 by Lorenzo Lotti aka Lorenzetto from a design by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520)
Marble sculptures “Daniel and the Lion” 1655/57 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and “Elijah” by Lorenzo Lotti aka Lorenzetto but finished by Raffaello da Montelupo (about 1505/57)
“The position of the figure of Daniel is extremely complex in its opposing motion and form an antithesis of the figure of Truth lying in her pose compressed and actively pleading. One might never guess that the original inspiration came from the figure of Laocoon, but there it is, as evidenced by the preparatory drawings left to us. He began with a study of the Laocoon, overthrew it, and returned at the end to a pose quite similar in Daniel but with a totally different sense” (Howard Hibbard)
“Tombs of Agostino Chigi and of his brother Sigismondo” by Raphael but modified in about 1650 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
At the center of the floor “Winged Death” by Gian Lorenzo Bernini with cartouche “Mors aD CaeLos” indicate in capital letters the year of jubilee in 1650

“Monument to Maria Flaminia Odescalchi Chigi” 1771 by Paolo Posi (1708/76) executed by Agostino Penna (known since 1768/d. 1800) with extraordinary “Lion” by Francesco Antonio Franzoni (1734/1818) from Carrara, the sculptor of the statues in the two in the world-famous Halls of Animals in the Vatican Museums

Aediculas derived from the old high altar by Andrea Bregno (1418/1503)
“Tomb of Cardinal Francesco Castiglioni” 1568 and “Tomb of Cardinal Antoniotto Pallavicini” 1507 by artists of the school of Andrea Bregno

Curious “Funerary monument of G.B. Gisleni” 1672 by G.B. Gisleni (1600/72) himself with death imprisoned and caterpillar that lives on as a butterfly

CORRIDOR “Monument of Bishop Bernardino Elvino” 1548 by Guglielmo Della Porta (1515/77)
A monument and a marble triptych by Luigi Capponi (active end of 1400s/beginning of 1500s)

“Ciborium” marble altar for the 1473 masterpiece by Andrea Bregno (1418/1503) for Rodrigo Borgia, later Pope Alexander VI (1492/1503), formerly on the high altar of the church
The ciborium is signed and dated by Bregno who dedicated it to the memory of his son Marcantonio, who died only seven during the works

No comments:

Post a Comment