Wednesday, March 6, 2019

St. MARY OF THE PRAYER AND DEATH

S. MARIA DELL'ORAZIONE E MORTE
Originally built in the years 1575/76
Formerly known as S. Maria della Morte for the Arciconfraternita della Morte (Confraternity of Death) founded in 1538 that gave burial to the poor
It was rebuilt in the years 1733/37 by Ferdinando Fuga (1699/1782) with the help of Giuseppe Sardi (1680/1753) who was master builder at the time
Ferdinando Fuga asked, as only reward, the right for free burial for himself and his heirs
Golden decorations and other works in the interior done in 1867
Restored in 1975
Since 1992 it has been dedicated to people who had died at work
“For the fa├žade Fuga conceived initially a convex shape and later changed his project, because of the limited space available toward the street and also for his personal stylistic evolution, to a rectilinear structure but with strong visual contrasts” (Daniele Ferrara)
“Ferdinando Fuga demonstrates that he thoroughly studied Borromini, Bernini and Rainaldi regarding the history of this type of building, almost proposing to fix himself a type which would be the synthesis and, at the same time, the adjustment of the different solutions. He does not alter substantially the structure of the Baroque image of space, but, in summarizing it, he almost involuntarily brings the elements to the firmness preached by the classical treatises of 1500s” (Giulio Carlo Argan)
On the walls FRESCOS DETACHED:
Among the chapels to the right
“St. Anthony Abbot and St. Paul of Thebes”
Among the chapels on the left
“St. Simeon Stylites” about 1605 by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647), his first independent works from the Camera degli Eremiti (Room of the Hermits) of the destroyed Palazzina Farnese (Farnese Small Palace)
Above the entrance there is a third fresco covered. The three murals were placed here in 1734
“In this first cycle Lanfranco shows that he was already following a relatively free pictorial line, immune, rather strangely, to the severity of the Roman style of Annibale Carracci” (Rudolf Wittkower)
1st RIGHT - CHAPEL OF St. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA
On the altar “Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine” by unknown artist of the end of the sixteenth century probably from the old church

2nd RIGHT - CHAPEL OF St. MICHAEL
1741 Paolo Posi (1708/76)
On the altar “St. Michael the Archangel” about 1740/50 copy by an unknown artist from the original by Guido Reni in the church of S. Maria della Concezione (St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception)

MAIN ALTAR
On the altar “Crucifixion” about 1680 by Ciro Ferri (1634/89), a pupil of Pietro da Cortona, who was here clearly influenced by the painting with the same subject by Guido Reni in in the church of S. Lorenzo in Lucina

2nd LEFT - CHAPEL OF St. JULIANA FALCONIERI
Above the altar “St. Juliana Falconieri receives the dress from St. Philip Benizi” about 1740 by Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674/1755)

1st LEFT - CHAPEL OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Above the altar “Rest on the Flight into Egypt” mid-1700s by Lorenzo Masucci (?/1785), son of Agostino Masucci
“The curvilinear and jutting pediments out of the chapels have a slight concavity in contrast with the convexity of the entablature above the choruses and the confessionals: this alternation of form suggests a swaying motion that ends at the chorus, where the arc breaks up the attic on which the dome rests. The undulating outline of the interior is an original design by Ferdinando Fuga, never seen before even considering the interiors of Borromini's churches” (Daniele Ferrara)

SACRISTY
Canvas:
“St. Michael the Archangel defeats the devil” about 1576 maybe by Raffaellino Motta aka Raffaellino da Reggio (1550/78)
“Deposition of Christ” by an unknown seventeenth-century artist
“St. Michael the Archangel save the souls of Purgatory” and “St. Michael the Archangel, the devil and the passing of a dying man” about 1660/70 by Giacinto Brandi (1621/91), originally located in the church at the sides of the altar of St. Michael

UNDERGROUND CEMETERY
Large room originally built in 1762 but resized during the works for building the walls by the River Tiber
For three centuries, from 1552 to 1896, about 8,600 corpses were buried here, with an average of one every two weeks
The decorations with skeletons of people belonging to the Confraternity of Death were very macabre, similar to those in the cemetery of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception

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