Monday, 14 December 2009

The solitary angel of St. Andrea della Valle

If you look at the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle, not far from Largo Argentina, you would notice that there is just one statue of angel on the left side. This makes the facade partially incomplete. Where is the other angel which should have been simmetrically placed on the right side? The facade was erected by Carlo Rainaldi in 1665 on the base of a project of Maderno. This project wasn't very much loved by Rainaldi so that he decided to place two angels on the facade to make it more beautiful. The first one was realised by Giacomo Fancelli, but his work was so much criticised even by the pope Alessandro VII, that the artist, pretty much offended, said to the pope: "If you really want the second angel, then do it by yourself!" This is why today we see only one angel instead of two.

Monday, 7 December 2009

The church of Sant'Agostino and Caravaggio

The church of St. Augustine is situated just few meters from Piazza Navona and it is one of the richest churches in Rome in terms of artworks. The main altar has been designed by Bernini, there is a painting of Guercino, a small fresco by Raphael representing the Prophet Isaiah, and two beautiful statues by Sansovino, one of which, Our Lady of Childbirth, much venerated. But most likely the most famous artwork of the church is the painting from Caravaggio you can find in the first chapel on the left, the Madonna dei Pellegrini. According to the legend, it was painted by Caravaggio when he managed to find shelter in the church after he killed the father of a girl he seduced. The model he used for the Virgin Mary was a well known roman prostitute and probably one of his lovers.