Wednesday, March 6, 2019


Begun in 1495 and continued slowly maybe by an unknown artist follower of Bramante or by Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano (1499/1546) for the CONFRATERNITY OF THE TWELVE COLLEGES OF ARTS AND CRAFTS: Merchants; Brokers of the port; Mills owners and their apprentices; Grocers; Vegetables sellers; Fruits sellers; Pasta artisans and retailers and their apprentices; Chicken sellers; Cobblers; Chestnut sellers; Wine sellers; Barrels handlers at the port
Finished without façade in the years 1554/60 by Guidetto Guidetti (about 1498/1564)

1566/68 Jacopo Barozzi aka Vignola (1507/73), finished in the upper part 1576/77 by Francesco Capriani aka Francesco da Volterra (1535/94)

It is the church of the Japanese community in Rome that celebrates a Mass here every third Sunday of the month
The connection with Japan goes back to a miracle happened on June 8, 1585: the first -ever embassy from Japan, during the visit to Gregory XIII Boncompagni (1572/85), had gone to take a trip to the sea near the coast
The pope wanted to surprise his guests and sent his musicians to meet them on many small boats with full sails , flags and flames, gilded stern s and bows covered by beautiful pavilions
Once they arrived at sea a terrible storm struck them and the Japanese guests. At that time the musicians remembered Our Lady of the Vegetable Garden to whom they said a short prayer as they were going past the church, because at the time the church was still visible from the Tiber River
The invoked her and immediately the storm subsided. Since then and for many years, the popes' musicians every June 8 used to gather at St. Mary of the Vegetable Garden to sing Mass in memory of the grace received

Decorated by Luigi Barattoni (active first quarter of the eighteenth century) and Gabriele Valvassori (1683/1761), who designed the stucco CEILING and the beautiful FLOOR laid out over the years 1747/56 with friezes of fruits, vegetables and working tools
“About the stuccos decorating the vaults of the church, it should be added that an old legend passed down orally - but that for some time found hospitality in some publications - wants that such lavish ornamentation was mixed in with the first gold that came from America with Christopher Columbus. Suggested probably by the particular year of foundation of the Brotherhood (1492), the legend is actually devoid of any possible foundation. A much more authoritative tradition, in fact, wants that gold used as decoration for the coffered ceiling of S. Maria Maggiore, although even in this case there isn't any document to confirm the tradition. However, on purely theoretical basis, the legend about St. Mary of the Vegetable Garden may have some truth. It seems, indeed, that the work at S. Maria Maggiore had produced several parings and scraps, all of which were carefully preserved, so that some infinitesimal amounts could be donated by the Reverend Chapter - for devotion, with symbolic purpose - to those who had made ​​the request in order to mix paints, fillers and anything else needed for the decoration of other churches” (Web Site of the Venerable Confraternity of St. Mary of the Vegetable Garden -
Central nave “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” 1706 by Giacinto Calandrucci (1646/1707), a pupil of Carlo Maratta

Gilded wooden balcony with organ of the mid-1800s
To the left “Dream of St. Joseph” and on the right “Adoration of the Shepherds” by Giuseppe Orazi (seventeenth century) and Andrea Orazi (1670/after 1724)

“Glory of Mary, St. Catherine and St. Bartholomew” 1708 by Giuseppe Orazi and Andrea Orazi

1st RIGHT - ANNUNCIATION CHAPEL (College of the Merchants and of the Brokers of the Port)
Above the altar “Annunciation” in 1561 by Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609)
On the right “Archangel Gabriel” 1875 by Virginio Monti (1852/1942)
On the left “St. Joseph” 1878 by Giovanni Capresi (1852/1921)

2nd RIGHT - CHAPEL OF St. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA (College of the Pasta Artisans)
Above the altar “Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine”, on the right “St. Peter” and on the left “St. Paul” 1711 by Filippo Zucchetti (active 1694/1712)
In the vault “Angels with the symbols of martyrdom” 1711 by Tommaso Cardani

3rd RIGHT - CHAPEL OF Sts. JAMES, BARTHOLOMEW AND VICTORIA (College of landlords, tenants and sharecroppers of vineyards)
Above the altar “Virgin Mary and Sts. James, Bartholomew and Victoria” and side paintings “Martyrdom of Saints” 1630 by Giovanni Baglione (1566/1643)

“Wooden crucifix” of the seventeenth century
On the walls “Stories of the Passion” 1595 by Nicolò Martinelli aka Trometta (about 1540/1611)
Under the arch “Resurrection of Christ” 1703 by Giacinto Calandrucci
“Descent of the Holy Spirit” 1704 by Andrea Procaccini (1671/1734) and “Angels” in stucco by Leonardo Retti (active 1670/1709)

Designed by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602)
“Venerated image of the Madonna and Child” of the fifteenth century which, believed to having miraculous healed an incurable infirmity in 1488, motivated the construction of the church
APSE (College of the Fruits Sellers)
“Life of the Virgin Mary” about 1560 by Taddeo Zuccari (1529/66) and Federico Zuccari
Lateral walls and lunettes “Life of the Virgin Mary”:
On the right “Birth of the Virgin Mary” and on the left “Presentation at the Temple” 1598 by Giovanni Baglione (1566/1643)
“The fresco on the left with the Presentation in the Temple has a special feature: besides the Renaissance clothes of the characters, the scene takes place at the foot of a staircase that ends with the glimpse of a building, which is precisely the church...of St. Mary of the Vegetable Garden” (Web Site of the Venerable Confraternity of St. Mary of the Vegetable Garden -
In the upper part STAINED GLASS WINDOW with Marian Crest curiously formed by fruits and vegetable

“Immaculate Conception” and in the spandrels “Virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary” in 1703 by Giuseppe Orazi (seventeenth century) and Andrea Orazi (1670/after 1724)
Stucco statues on the triumphal arch 1704 by Leonardo Retti (active 1670/1709)

“Meeting of Joachim and Anna” 1704 by Andrea Procaccini (1671/1734) and “Angels” in stucco by Leonardo Retti

LEFT TRANSEPT - CHAPEL OF St. FRANCIS OF ASSISI (College of the Mills' Owners)
“Statue of St. Francis” by an unknown artist of the seventeenth century
On the walls “Stories of St. Francis” in 1595 by Nicolò Martinelli aka Trometta (about 1540/1611)
Under the arch “Glory of St. Francis” 1703 by Mario Garzi son of Luigi Garzi (1638/1721)

“Glory of St. Sebastian, St. John the Evangelist and St. Charles Borromeo” 1706 by G.B. Parodi (1674/1730)

Above the altar “Madonna and Child with saints”, on the right “St. Ambrose on horseback sending away Aryans from Milan” and on the left “St. Charles Borromeo attends the plague sufferers” 1641 by Giovanni Baglione (1566/1643)

2nd LEFT - CHAPEL OF S. JOHN THE BAPTIST (Company of the young grocers)
Architecture by Gabriele Valvassori (1683/1761)
Above the altar “Baptism of Jesus” 1750 by Corrado Giaquinto (1703/66)
On the right “St. John the Baptist Preaching” and on the left “Beheading of St. John the Baptist” 1749 by Giuseppe Ranucci

1st LEFT - CHAPEL OF St. SEBASTIAN (College of the vegetable sellers)
Above the altar “St. Sebastian cured by Angels”, on the right “St. Anthony of Padua” and on the left “St. Bonaventure” 1624 by Giovanni Baglione
“Above the altar there is a remarkable St. Sebastian Tended by Angels (painted in 1624, as can be seen from a preparatory drawing in the Louvre), which inserts in a Carracci-like formal composition generic formal references to Caravaggio and a neo-Venetian color quality, probably derived from Domenico Fetti, definitely studied by Baglione during his recent visit to Mantua” (Carla Guglielmi Faldi - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)

It stands on the spot where the hospital once stood
Sixteenth-century wooden ceiling
There is a SMALL MUSEUM with emblems and banners of the various colleges
Paintings maybe by Giovanni Odazzi (1663/1731)
The interior of the church appears in the 1945 film directed by Roberto Rossellini Roma Città Aperta (Rome Open City). In the fiction it is the parish of Don Pietro played by Aldo Fabrizi
The exterior of the church as shown in the movie is that of St. Helena outside Porta Maggiore in the Casilino neighborhood instead

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