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

Caravaggio’s St. John the Baptist – a work of art, sacrilege, or child pornography?

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Caravaggio’s St. John the Baptist – a work of art, sacrilege, or child pornography?

Looking upon this painting do we not feel like intruders spying on a rather bizarre scene? It depicts a nude youth in a reclining pose, who stretches out on fur and white and red fabric, trying to encircle the head of a horned ram immediately behind him, which in turn – as it seems – will in a moment tenderly touch the boy's face with its mouth. The boy, seemingly surprised, turns his head towards us. In his gaze, we can see curiosity but also a frivolous, slightly teasing smile. For someone who is not familiar with the title of this work, the last thing that may come to his mind i...

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Julius III (1487–1555) – a dream about the power of ...a family

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Julius III (1487–1555) – a dream about the power of ...a family

He was not a significant bishop in Rome, and although we cannot accuse him of a lack of ambitions, these did not concern matters of the Church. He was one of the last popes of the Renaissance – fond of the pleasures of everyday life, the culture of antiquity, basing his rule on nepotism, and a man who valued art although for him it was above all a way to elevate his family (average at best) to the very top of the Roman black aristocracy – as quickly as possible and at any price.

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Del Monte Chapel – a stylistically balanced and artistically reserved place

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Del Monte Chapel – a stylistically balanced and artistically reserved place

In the pseudotransept of the Church of San Pietro in Montorio, we can come across a chapel which is definitely pleasant to look upon. The harmonious proportions, distinction, and moderation that can be seen there are a testimony of the skill of its creators. Truly, the del Monte Chapel is one of the most beautiful creations of the late Renaissance in the Eternal City, perhaps exactly due to the fact that it was created by the skilled Tuscans who desired to introduce a touch of Florentine elegance into its interior. And apparently, they succeeded.

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