Friday, July 12, 2013

Capuchins and Santa Maria del Popolo!

It was my last full day in Rome. The sun was shining and I still had so much I wanted to do. That night I was having dinner with my new friend Dawn (the American who married an Italian man and had two kids) and her family. This would be after a few last minutes stops and a trip to the modern art museum.

My friend Caroline knew where I was staying and told me I was right around the corner from something I just had to see. 

The Convent of the Capuchins
Il Convento dei Cappuccini

The Capuchins are an order of Franciscans. Pope Urban XIII commissioned Santa Maria della Concezione, in 1626, for his brother Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who was a Capuchin. There is a monastery, church, museum, and famous crypt, and it's just off Piazza Barbarini. 

Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini
Architect Antonio Casoni
built 1626 - 1631

There are famous paintings by Guido Reni and others, in the church, but unfortunately the church was closed for renovations.

Fortunately, what I was really there to see was the famous crypt of the Capuchins. The bones of over 4,000 Capuchin friars, collected from the 16th to 19th century, were made into incredible mosaics and decorative displays ... even chandeliers! There are also rooms that utilize mostly a particular bone ... like femurs.

You aren't supposed to take photos, so these are the postcards I bought. I couldn't find a photographers name on them.

Another postcard ... 

Here is a short video I found on Youtube that shows more of the crypt and explains the origins of the name of our old Italian favorite, "Cappuccino."

It all seems strange, but there is a beauty to it, as well ... and messages about time, and the fragility of life. A lot of messages and meanings can be taken from this place, but one that is written in the crypt reads ...

"What you are now, we once were;
what we are now, you shall be."

The museum was full of relics and artifacts belongning to various Franciscan Saints. There was a painting by Caravaggio of St. Frances in Prayer, or it was a copy of an original? It was all unclear. The "original" is housed at the Piazza Barberini. Either way ... it's a beautiful painting!

Here is the Piazza Barberini version ...

St. Frances in Prayer
Michelangelo Merisi called Caravaggio

In order to go to Maxxi, the modern art museum, I would be taking a tram North from just above Piazza del Popolo. Since I was right there, how could I not stop in to Santa Maria del Popolo to visit the Caravaggios, Berninis and Pinuricchios?

Santa Maria del Popolo
Façade by Bernini
Apse by Bramante

Della Rovere Chapels
Frescoes by Pinturicchio 

Nativity Fresco 

Cappella Basso della Rovere (?)

I think this is the tomb of Cardinal Giovanni Basso della Rovere, made in 1483 by the school of Andrea Bregno.

This is an interesting sculpture ...

Cappella Cybo
by Carlo Fontana 1682 - 1687

The Assumption and Four Doctors of the Church
by Carlo Maratta

Chapel of the Visitaion
designed by Bernini

The Visitation by Giovanni Maria Morandi
Angels by Ercole Ferrata and Arrigo Giardé

The Chigi Chapel
Designed by Raphael

Daniel (see the lion behind him?)
by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Habakkuk and the Angel 
Gian Lorenzo Bernini

God the Father in Benediction 
Chigi Chapel Dome mosaic by Venetian artist, 
after drawings by Raphael

There are two amazing paintings by caravaggio in the church, in the Cerasi Chapel. The Conversion of St. Paul and the Crucifiction of St. Peter. There was a guard standing by, and you can't take photos, unfortunately.  Here is a video/slideshow of all the various Caravaggios in Rome, including the two I couldn't photograph here, at Santa Maria del Popolo.

OH! And here is Piazza del Popolo and a little of its history, in this Youtube video. It's worth a look!

To read more about the Capuchins, from their official page, click here.
To see pictures of the opening of the capuchin museum, click here.

After getting my fill of the Baroque, it was time to head up to the ultra modern Maxxi, then dinner with friends. The following morning I'd be off to Assisi in Umbria.

Hope you are enjoying the Italy photos. I never imagined I'd still be posting my Rome pictures in July!

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
~E.B. White

Blessings and light!
Have an amazing wonderful weekend!


donna baker said...

So beautiful to see on a hot summer day. You are so good at this I think you should offer tours and guide them.

Tammie Lee said...

so many beautiful glimpses of Italia!

Victoria said...

Hi magnificent.thanks for sharing such a super beautiful post... awe-inspiring images...I am mesmerized by the stunning beauty!
Thanks again for sharing such incredibly gorgeous content..and of course your exquisite photography!!
HUgs and sparkles friend!
Hope you are having a sparkling summer!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning beautiful California girl!

When I think of how the Italians influenced the world through the Roman Empire, then still through their ageless art, it helps me see even clearer how the French were once enamored with all things Italian. So many remnants found in the South of France in cuisine, language, architecture are truly Italian.

Isn't it chilling almost, to walk the corridors of such structures? To wonder who walked them, what were they thinking? Travel is magical and allows us to not only move from place to place, but from one era to the next. And we are all the more better for it.

Thank you so much for coming to visit; I was just in California for a brief visit with family, and there is nothing more precious than to reconnect with those you love. Have a super SUMMER! Anita

erin said...

wowza! you are sooooo lucky to have been in the presence of such great beauty and history. i find beauty in the bones, for sure, but not the skulls? perhaps i don't want to look death in the face. great photos, lucinda.
happy summer to you,

Ruthie Redden said...

Wow, how wonderful to get a taster of your trip from all your posts ~ Im especially amazed by the crypt though , the saying written there is really a very sobering thought. Looks like you had such a glorious trip x x

Becky Jerdee said...

Wow, what a trip through some really thrilling much to look at!!! The bone art is what really gets me, though. One feels totally IN AWE when visiting such places...I remember a little cemetery in Germany in the salt mine area (can't remember the name of the town, right off). We visited inside a cave where the bones of the people had been arranged artistically...the cemetery space was limited there so from time to time the bones would be exhumed and the space given up for a newer body to move into the grave. The old bones were added to the artwork. Awe-inspiring.
Thanks, Lucinda, for this wonderful little side-trip :)

Blogger said...

Are you looking for free Google+ Circles?
Did you know you can get them AUTOMATICALLY & TOTALLY FOR FREE by registering on Add Me Fast?