Wednesday 15 May 2013

Santa Maria in Trastevere 1

Santa Maria in Trastevere is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful churches in Rome! Externally it is distinguished by the mosaic decoration of the facade (below the pediment) while internally the mosaics of the apse, while rich and glowing in their colouring, are striking for their bold naturalism. Attributed to Pietro Cavallini (1259-c1330) a slightly older contemporary of Giotto, they are particularly noteworthy for the strong sense of relief created by the clear representation of directional lighting usually associated with that master.
Unfortunately my photos do not do justice to their subjects. Try as I might, I could not get a picture of the main image of the apse without reflected glare from the lighting. Cavallini's style is best seen in the three narrative panels of The Annunciation, The Nativity (with the annunciation to the shepherds) and The Presentation in the Temple.
 In a side chapel I managed to snap this curious fresco representing the Council of Trent- again apologies for the poor quality of the shot. In the foreground are several allegorical figures including a lady who, crowned with the papal tiara, represents Holy Church trampling error underfoot!
Briefly a papal residence, Santa Maria in Trastevere, was the titular of Henry Benedict Stuart the grandson of James II and brother of Charles Edward Stuart the young pretender ("Bonnie Prince Charlie"). Possibly the most illustrious member of the house of Stuart, he rose to become Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and participated in several conclaves.

No comments:

Post a Comment