Monday, December 30, 2019


Via della Curia 2/Clivo Argentario

 Dedicated at the time of Pope Honorius I (625/638) only to S. Martina, martyred under Septimus Severus (193/211) on the ancient CURIA HOSTILIA

Rebuilt in 1256

Restored with the rise of the floor in 1593 by Ottaviano Nonni aka Ottaviano Mascherino (1524/1606), after it had been granted in 1588 to the Academy of St. Luke founded in 1577 by Girolamo Muziano (1532/92)
So the title of St. Luke was added

Restored again in the years 1635/64 by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669)

Works completed in the years 1674/77 by Ciro Ferri (1634/89), a pupil of Pietro da Cortona

“The pylons strongly projecting, fronted by the double pillars, seem to have the wall crushed in the middle, so that the warp seems to be the result of a compression always going on. Absolutely different from any façade of any previous church, it prepares the visitor for the understanding of the internal structure, because the treatment of the wall and the articulation of the premises are explained here in a different key. Cortona think in terms of flexibility of the plastic mass of the walls, and through this he gets the dynamic coordination of exterior and interior. To him can be assigned the honor of having erected the first of the great highly personal and completely homogeneous churches of the Baroque style” (Rudolf Wittkower)

From here it used to begin the procession known as Candelora (Candlemas) established by Gelasius (492/496) to replace the pagan festival of the Lupercalia

Here are buried the artists Pietro Da Cortona, Sebastiano Conca (1680/1764), Luigi Canina (1795/1856), G.B. Soria (1581/1651), Lazzaro Baldi (about 1624/1703)

Design of the area outside 1932 by Gustavo Giovannoni (1873/1947) for the opening of Via dei Fori Imperiali

“In his constructive architecture Cortona eliminated the figurative elements which made such an integral part of his painted architecture. One can not imagine a stronger contrast with the concept of the architecture by Bernini. For Bernini, the very meaning of architecture conceived classically was summarized in realistic sculpture. A similar sculpture would have hidden the wealth and complexity of the work of Cortona. His effervescence here reaches its climax with the absolutely unprecedented wildly undulating shapes of the coffers of the dome. The personal design of these coffers found no imitators” (Rudolf Wittkower)

Sculptures “Symbols of the Evangelists” 1730:
“St. Mark” by Filippo Della Valle (1698/1768),”St. Matthew” by Camillo Rusconi (1658/1728), “St. Luke” and “St. John” by G.B. Maini (1690/1752)
On the floor of the nave tomb of Pietro da Cortona

“Tomb of the artist Giovanna Garzoni” by Mattia De Rossi (1637/95) with maybe portrait of Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)

“Martyrdom of St. Lazarus” by Lazzaro Baldi (about 1624/1703). On the left there is his grave
In a niche on the right relief “Ecstasy of St. Mary Magdalene” by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654)

“Recumbent statue of St. Martina” 1635 by Niccolò Menghini (about 1610/55)
Above the altar “St. Luke painting the Virgin Mary” by the Sienese Antiveduto Grammatica (about 1572/1626), maybe copy from the original by Raphael now at Palazzo Carpegna

“Assumption and St. Sebastian” 1740 by Sebastiano Conca (1680/1764). On the right there is his grave
On the left of “Tomb of Luigi Canina” by Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869)


At the entrance
“Monument of G.B. Soria (1581/1651)”

In the octagonal room
Stucco relief on the altar “Dead Christ with the Virgin Mary and the Father” 1638/39 by Alessandro Algardi
Statues in the niches “Cecilia”, “Agnes” and “Martina” by Cosimo Fancelli (1620/88), “S. Eufemia” by Pompeo Ferrucci (about 1566/1637)

In the church
“Altar of S. Martina” by Pietro da Cortona
Terracotta in the chapel to the left of the corridor “Sts. Epifanius, Concordio and a companion” 1634 by Alessandro Algardi

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