"Santa Maria del Popolo" Top 5 Page for this destination Basilica Santa Maria del Popolo Tip by von.otter
Basilica Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome: 11 reviews and 30 photos
“From the Trinita we went to the Santa Maria del Popolo, a church built on a spot where Nero is said to have been buried, and which was afterwards made horrible by devilish phantoms. It now being past twelve, and all the churches closing from twelve till two, we had not time to pay much attention to the frescos, oil-pictures, and statues, by Raphael and other famous men, which are to be seen here. I remember dimly the magnificent chapel of the Chigi family.”
from the 1858 “French and Italian Note-Books” of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
The modest-looking Chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo, Our Lady of the People, is a treasure trove of painting and sculpture.
One of the richest examples of the church’s art is the 1513 Cappla di Chigi, the Chigi Chapel. The Sianese banker Agostino Chigi (1465-1520) engaged Raphael to design and decorate a chapel that would eventually become the banker's final resting place.
More than 100 hundred years later, Fabio Chigi, who later became Pope Alexander VII, commissioned Gianlorenzo Bernini to spruce up his ancestor’s tomb. As part of the renovation Bernini designed and executed two marble groupings which face each other in the chapel. One of those groupings is “Habakkuk and the Angel” (see photos #1 & #2).
Another is “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” by Bernini (see photos #4 & #5). Carved by Bernini between 1655 and 1657 Daniel’s face looks up to God, who is seen in the dome’s lantern of the chapel. Only the lion’s head is seen, as it licks Daniel’s foot, subdued by God in response to Daniel’s prayer.
Address: Piazza del Popolo
Phone: +39 06 361 0836
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