Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sant'Agostino

Piazza Sant'Agostino
Via della Scrofa


It was just before the lunch-time closing time that we wandered into Sant'Agostino, only a few people were lingering in front of the first chapel on the left looking at Caravaggio's 1609 painting of the Madonna dei Pellegrini, so we didn't have to stand amongst the crowds that I was expecting. Although the chapel is quite dark it can be illuminated with a coin for a better view of this famous altarpiece that was a first thought to be unfitting for the church as it showed pilgrims with bare and dirty feet, visiting the Madonna and Child.
Not only does Sant'Agostino hold the Caravaggio altarpiece but it has works by Raphael, Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco. 
The church was completed in 1483 and was one of the first Roman churches constructed during the Renaissance. The facade was built with travertine marble believed to have been taken from the Colosseum. 
In the right transept, in the Chapel of St Augustine, is  Guercino's canvas of Saints' Augustine between Saints John the Baptist and Paul the Hermit and two canvases by Giovanni Lanfranco. Raphael's fresco of the Prophet Isaiah (1512) is in the central nave on the third left pillar.
Jacopo Sansovino's 1516 sculpture, dedicated to the Madonna of Childbirth, is near the entrance of the church in the Chapel of Our Lady of Childbirth.
The church was also once noted for the number of courtesans and prostitutes in its congregation and holds the tomb of Fiammetta, the lover of Pope Alexander VI's son, Cesare Borgia.

The church is open Monday to Saturday from 8am until 12pm and from 4pm until 7:30pm.

An informative guide book on the art and history of the church can be bought inside.


Caravaggio



Giovanni Lanfranco


Guercino


Giovanni Lanfranco





Artists in Sant'Agostino
Pietro Gagliardi
Marcello Venusti
Avanzino Nucci
Pinturicchio
Giovanni Battista Ricci
Giovanni Gottardi
Francesco Rosa
Sebastiano Conca



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I found walking around Rome was the best way to see everything but the metro, trams and buses are an easy and cheap option also.

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Buses #40 and #64 starts at Termini and ends near St. Peter's traveling past other places of interest, returning the same way.

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#64 & #40 Express Bus

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These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.