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 Eustochium (368–419) – a virgin through and through

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 Jerome (between 331 and 347 – 420) – „Romans hide your daughters because Jerome is coming”

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

Piazza Augusto Imperatore – in the service of historical policy

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Piazza Augusto Imperatore – in the service of historical policy

The ruler of Fascist Italy, Benito Mussolini looked at himself as the heir of Roman emperors, but only one was his favorite. This was Octavius Augustus, who was remembered in history as an example of an excellent leader who ensured his subjects peace and prosperity. And thus the grand exhibition, planned for 1938 was devoted to this ruler as a commemoration of his birthday. Many guests were invited (including Hitler, who was also a proponent of Octavius), while the opening of a square (a new Roman forum), surrounded by new, monumental buildings served as an added attraction. At the center of t...

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Giovanni Lanfranco’s Venus Playing the Harp – a tribute to music or perhaps to love?

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Giovanni Lanfranco’s Venus Playing the Harp – a tribute to music or perhaps to love?

Who is the semi-nude woman on the canvas? Is it the allegory of music, or perhaps Venus – the goddess of love, with accompanying, reading the score, amoretti? The scarlet and blue fabrics made of satin covering the woman, and hanging behind her back, seduce the viewer with the soft, wavy, and shiny material. Among these is the woman’s beautiful body, with an enormous harp between her legs. The woman is singing, as her mouth is open, and looks at us in a stubborn manner. Intuitively we feel that this work hides some mystery, an anecdote, or maybe just an intriguing ambiguity. And we...

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Saint Eustochium (368–419) – a virgin through and through

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Saint Eustochium (368–419) – a virgin through and through

The history of the Roman Catholic Church is filled with imaginary virgins of legendary provenances, such as Agnes and Cecilia who are particularly venerated in Rome. Probably nobody (apart from a few early-Christian Church historians) has ever heard of Saint Eustochium. It would be worth pondering why the first in Rome, declared virgin and historically documented ascetic remains completely unknown.

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