Saints, prophets and gods

Saints, prophets and gods

Bernini’s Habakkuk and the Angel, meaning the story of a mysterious journey into the lion’s den

Saints, prophets and gods

Hercules – a fearless but rather dull protector of Rome

Saints, prophets and gods

Raphael’s Isaiah – how one great artist imitated another

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Agnes (Sant’Agnese) – a favorite of the Romans – an unbroken virgin

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Balbina (Santa Balbina) – patroness of the stuttering and… not only

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Bibiana (Santa Bibiana) – uncompromising Roman girl, whipped to death

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Cecilia (Santa Cecilia) – twice miraculously found and equally miraculously kept in everlasting youth

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Petronilla (Santa Petronilla) – a virgin and a betrothed of Christ

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Prisca (Santa Prisca) – three saints for the price of one

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Sabina (Santa Sabina) – an enigmatic saint from the Aventine

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Andrew (Sant’Andrea) – holy apostle with a centuries-old visit in the Eternal City

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Hippolytus (Sant’Ippolito) – neophyte and a patron of prison guards

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Sabbas the Sanctified (San Saba) – an uncompromising Palestinian proponent of Rome

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Stephen (Santo Stefano) – a companion in the cult of St. Lawrence

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Lawrence (San Lorenzo) – a favorite of the Romans; intercessor of those suffering in the fires of hell

Bronzino’s John the Baptist – between cold eroticism and refined devotion

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Bronzino’s John the Baptist – between cold eroticism and refined devotion

The muscular, beautiful, manly body with a delicately glowing skin seems to be taken out of a refined act of, as we would have said today, homoerotic nature, however, the title of the painting and the requisites visible on it, point to something completely different. This is a saint, and not just any saint – the patron of Florence, John the Baptist. But is it possible that this is simply a religious painting?

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Bernini’s Colonnade – to strengthen faith, Enlightenment and to convince the infidels

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Bernini’s Colonnade – to strengthen faith, Enlightenment and to convince the infidels

Its grandeur is best appreciated, looking on from the perspective of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. In front of our very eyes stretches one of the last monumental works of the Baroque – a symbol of the significance of the Holy See and its representative on Earth - Pope Alexander VII. It was he, who ordered his trusted architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini to begin work on shaping the square in such a way so that it would astound and arouse respect. Both the pontifex and his architect succeeded in this task.

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Bronzino (1503–1572) – subtle, refined, and mysterious

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Bronzino (1503–1572) – subtle, refined, and mysterious

A painter, and at the same time a poet, he resided in Rome only a short time and in reality, we do not know what he did there. And despite the fact, that this chief representative of Mannerism and the court painter of the de ’Medici family did not leave the fruits of his labor in the city, the Roman museums keep several significant (obtained at a later date) works of his – surprising, seducing in their beauty and mysterious aura.

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