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.