Via Sant'Anna, Vatican City
short walk from Saint Peter's to the corner of Via Porta Angelica and Borgo Pio
6:45-12:00 & 16:00-19:00
Swiss Guards will turn you back if you try to walk further than the entrance to the church
Sant'Anna dei Palafrenieri is a small Baroque church just inside the Sant'Anna Gate of the Vatican City.
The inside is beautifully decorated with stucco, gilding and faux marbles, with four Baroque frescoes by Austrian artist Ignazio Stern showing the Life of Saint Anne.
In 1605 Caravaggio had been commissioned by the guild of Papal grooms who owned the church to paint the Madonna dei Palafrenieri for the main altar.
The confraternity was unhappy with the realism in which Caravaggio painted the altarpiece and especially since he used a prostitute as his model for Mary and rejected the painting after only one month of it being on display. The guild then sold the painting to Cardinal Scipione Borghese for his collection in the Galleria Borghese where it can be seen today.
|main altarpiece Arturo Viligiardi 1926|
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