Part of this work was that the garth garden was returned to what was thought to be its original layout. This part of the campaign was finished in Restoration work on the rest of the complex is expected to be ongoing, with scaffolding going up on the western frontage including the church apse in This was apparently the first church in Rome to have a non-Italian titular.
In , Giacomo della Chiesa was appointed cardinal but in the same year he was elected pope, and took the name of Benedict XV. Despite being an ancient title, the consecutive listing of cardinals here only begins in The current titular of the church is H. The western side faces the Via dei Querceti, and here is the impressive church apse. It is obvious that its red brick fabric was erected at different times, and in fact the rougher lower courses are 4th century.
This old work extends upwards at the right to touch the central window. The neater upper work, with put-log holes for scaffolding wooden before modern times is from the rebuilding by Pope Paschal in the 12th century, except for a small area to the right of the central window which dates back to Pope Paschal in the 9th. The two visible windows there were three, but one was obscured when the monastery next door was built are now rectangular but you can tell that they once had round tops.
To the left of the apse, the rough walling is the end of the right hand side aisle of Pope Leo's basilica. The domestic accommodation incorporated into this was added by the orphanage in The monastery block to the right of the apse was originally put up in the 12th century, but has been massively altered since. The odd diagonally-placed tower-like edifice to the far right is at the south-west corner of the cloister. The street frontage to the left of the apse and around the corner into the Via dei Santi Quattro is occupied by boring 19th century commercial buildings, but then comes the towering and grim frontage of the old Cardinal's Palace, a result of its rebuilding.
You can see how the orphanage blocked up many of the old windows in order that the orphan girls couldn't see out, and left the stone frames in the walls. The street here is interesting in itself. It is a relic of the times before the 19th century when the surroundings were all countryside, and the narrow country lanes squeezed between walled vineyards. It is thought to be on an ancient street route the Via Tuscalana , but was just a donkey track in the Middle Ages. If you are walking, you go up a flight of steps from the steeply sloping street to reach the monastery's piazza which is itself an ancient monument.
This has a mediaeval revetting wall creating a level platform, and was provided in the 12th century as a mustering ground. Men bearing arms were not allowed into monasteries in the early Middle Ages.
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The nuns in the convent have had a long-standing practice of dispensing charity to poor people from their entrance, a tradition that goes back several centuries. For this reason, you may find beggars around here who might ask you for money. The appearance is not helped by the ochre-coloured render falling off in patches, leaving the brickwork exposed.
The ongoing restoration should get round to here eventually, but meanwhile you can see how some of the brickwork incorporates scavenged stone blocks. The entrance itself is through an unadorned archway with a large tympanum, which is now bare but had a fresco of the four martyrs being crowned by an angel in the early 19th century.
The tower contained the convent clock, with dials on the western and eastern faces each under a floating arc cornice with little incurved curlicues at its ends.
These are in the form of baluster pins having a square cross-section, and are his own invention. Once through the entrance, you traverse a passageway through the gateway block of the convent. The egress portal is, interestingly, in the form of a pointed Gothic arch which does not align with the campanile above it. If you look at the wall over it, you will see the coat-of-arms of a cardinal, and a inscription in Gothic lettering.
The inscription reads: Haec quaecumque vides veteri prostrata ruina, obruta verbenis hederis dumisque iacebant, non tulit Hispanus Carillo Alphonsus, honore cardineo fulgens, sed opus licet occupat ingens, sic animus magno reparatque palatia sumptu dum sedet extincto Martinus schismate quintus.
The Spaniard Alfonso Carillo, radiant with the honour of the cardinalate, did not accept this but carefully took in hand the proper work and, thus inspired, repaired the great palace in the time of the reign of Pope Martin V, the schism having been ended". The first courtyard is on the site of the atrium of the Leonine basilica. Much of it now has a 17th century appearance owing to building work for the orphanage, and has arcades on the north and west sides.
These have Doric pilasters and imposts.
The west arcade opens onto a vaulted loggia and the way through to the second courtyard, while the north side has five arches opening into what used to be the main entrance loggia also vaulted of the orphanage proper. The far western arch of this latter loggia is blind, because behind it is the Cappella di San Silvestro. The old public entrance to the chapel is in the far right hand end of the western loggia see separate description of the chapel below , and has a simple molded doorcase with a triangular pediment supported on posts bearing triglyphs.
In between the posts is an epigraph: Statuariorum et lapicidarum corpus, anno MDLXX "The body of statue-carvers and stone-workers, ". This western loggia has frescoes painted in Over the chapel entrance is one depicting the Four Crowned Martyrs holding palms.
The far wall has a pair of large frescoes separated by depictions of twisted Solomonic columns , the left hand one showing The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin and the smaller right hand one The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin in the Temple. The south side is fairly featureless architecturally, and has a little staircase in the south-east corner leading to the entrance to the convent of the Little Sisters of the Lamb.
They are not the nuns responsible for the church! You may notice that the courtyard is trapezoidal, with the right hand block at an angle to the major axis. The second courtyard occupies what used to be the near end of the central nave of the Leonine basilica. It has the entrance to the present church on the far side, and to the north on the right are three ancient columns embedded in the wall of the convent of the Augustinian nuns their main entrance is here.
These columns are a survival of the colonnades that separated the central nave of the old basilica from its side aisles. They have ancient bases and Ionic capitals, which do not match. One is in white marble and is fluted this has no base , and the other two are in grey marble bigio antico.
The columns support an arcade of brick archivolts, and on the intrados of one of these was found traces of original 9th century decoration consisting of acanthus scrolls in red on a white background. The church has a loggia, entered through three open arches springing from two ancient marble Corinthian columns. This loggia is two bays deep, and behind the arcade columns are two more columns, these ones Ionic, which are embedded in piers.
Above the loggia is a 17th century enclosed gallery connecting the convent premises north and south of the church, and this column-and-pier arrangement indicates that the 16th century work was a rebuilding of a previously existing loggia dating from the 12th century.
The gallery frontage is very simple, with three rectangular windows having sober Baroque frames.
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Over the actual church entrance is a late 16th century fresco showing the sisters and orphan girls venerating the Four Crowned Martyrs. The actual church fabric is invisible from inside the convent complex, except for the south end of the transept which you can see from the cloister.
The gallery mentioned above has a flat roof, and behind that is a third-storey church frontage with three rectangular windows which cannot be seen from the courtyard. The church itself has three pitched and tiled roofs, one for the nave which has a hip at the entrance end, one for the transept with a hip at both ends and one for the apse which has six sectors.
The church is actually quite small, and is dominated by the proportionally very large apse the disproportion being because it belonged to the much larger Leonine basilica.https://kessai-payment.com/hukusyuu/application-android/zije-application-pour.php
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The nave has five bays with side aisles, and then comes a transept which is now the choir of the nuns. The sanctuary apse follows. The church itself has no attached side chapels. There is a confessio or devotional crypt under the sanctuary. The nave is separated from the narrow side aisles by arcades with five Corinthian columns each. Above the aisles are galleries or matronea, each having two arcades of three arches each separated by Ionic columns and with a pier in between the two. The nave walls above the arcades are undecorated, as is the completely simple triumphal arch leading into the transept.
These matronea would have been for the sisters and orphan girls, but the nuns now worship in their choir in front of the high altar. The nave ceiling is in carved and varnished but unpainted wood, and bears the coat-of-arms of the future King Henry I of Portugal when he was cardinal here. He had the ceiling installed in The ceiling has dentillated coffers, the central one with the heraldry being oval and two other focal ones being octagonal and containing the cross.
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If you are familiar with the flag of Portugal, you may notice that the heraldry on the shield here is the same as that on the flag. The floor is Cosmatesque , laid in by Magister Paulus , is unlike most others in the city as it was unrestored in the later centuries. However, it has been patched with fragments of early funerary epitaphs which have their own interest.
It looks as if the repairers were looting a local cemetery or catacomb for building materials. The second one has grilled apertures looking into the connecting gallery above the entrance loggia, and the third one has three windows which give much of the natural light in the church. The two piers of the transept's triumphal arch are graced with a pair of side altars. The one on the right has a rather poor anonymous 17th century fresco of the Crucifixion, showing Our Lady with SS John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalen, together with a Doctor of the Church holding a book and sporting a monk's tonsure St Augustine?
The altar frontal now has Cosmatesque inlay, the visibility or the placement of which dates from the 20th century. Beforehand, both pier altars had matching frontals featuring gilded vine-scroll patterning springing from a central oval starburst tondo, on a white background. The left hand pier altar has a fine 15th century marble tabernacle in the form of a pedimented aedicule, with the actual home for the Blessed Sacrament being venerated by a four standing angels.
The door is in gilded bronze, with a relief of Jesus the Nazarene with his cross and column of flagellation. The Grotesque relief detailing is gilded. The work is ascribed to Luigi Capponi or Antonio Bregno. This tabernacle was re-located here in the early 17th century, and provided with flanking frescoes of SS Peter and Paul. God the Father is depicted above, being infested by a swarm of putti.
As mentioned the transept now contains the choir of the nuns, and so has been sequestered by rather ugly modern steel railings. It is entered through an unadorned triumphal arch, springing from a pair of equally unadorned piers which are actually set at a slight angle to the major axis.
There is a separate ceiling provided at the end of the 16th century by Cardinal Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti de Nuce , in the same style as that of the nave but with the central coffer showing the Four Crowned Martyrs. There is also a separate Cosmatesque floor, separated from the nave one by an area of scavenged marble slabs. At either end of the transept is a staircase down to the confessio. The side walls here show fabric from the arcades of the Leonine basilica, and also display some old epigraphs including a 4th century one from the catacombs of Sant'Ermete on the Via Salaria.
The left hand staircase has over it a little 17th century shrine to Our Lady of Sorrows , with a fresco of her in an arched niche. This is flanked by a pair of mediaeval epigraphs, one giving a list of relics provided by Pope Leo IV and the other recording the rebuilding by Pope Paschal II in Below the fresco is a slab of marble which used to belong to the high altar consecrated by Pope Paschal, as the inscription on it points out: Vetus hic lapis in ara maxima, sanctorum corporibus frat[rum] impositus "This old stone was put in place on the bodies of the holy brethren in the great altar".
The sanctuary comprises the apse, and is slightly raised above the main floor level by two steps. It is sequestered by a 17th century marble balustrade either side of the free-standing high altar, having a gap in each side for ingress and also some polychrome marble panelling. The apse itself is richly decorated with frescoes and stucco work, the latter being gold on white.
The pilasters of the triumphal arch have exaggerated imposts bearing fronded modillions over dentillation and egg-and-dart molding, and these decorative features are continued below the apse conch as a defective entablature no frieze. This entablature is supported by six ribbed Corinthian pilasters. The curved apse wall has frescoes in two registers, seven panels at the bottom and four at the top which depict scenes from the legend of the martyrdom of the Four Crowned Martyrs.
The top register contains three large rectangular windows, with curtains to obscure the fact that the left hand one is blocked by the adjacent monastery block. The apse conch is wholly taken up by a large fresco of The Glory of Heaven. These are surrounded by a host of angels, and below is a large crowd of saints many of whom are identifiable by the attributes symbols with them. The angels have been called Il coro delle angiolesse in the past, because many of them are obviously female.
This was obviously a gesture on the part of the artist to the little girls in the orphanage, but caused great controversy at the time. The doctrinal point was that angels are sexless, hence should be depicted without any identifying sexual markers in other words, as epicene youths. All this fresco work was executed in by Giovanni da San Giovanni , who also provided depictions of the Four Crowned Martyrs on the outward faces of the pilasters and two female allegories Religion to the left and Fortitude to the right on the triumphal arch spandrels.
The sides of the pilasters have stucco angels, of high quality. The confessio is a semi-annular U-shaped passage running round the curve of the apse from one staircase to another. At the far end of its curve is a little chapel, and over the altar of this is an aperture with a diapered grating. Through this you can see another little chamber leading into a low barrel-vaulted niche with four allegedly ancient capsule-shaped sarcophagi containing the relics of the martyrs.
There are remnants of 17th century frescoes, including leafy branches on the vault in front of the niche. In years past the nuns would show interested visitors the confessio, but this courtesy is not generally available nowadays. Also here are some frescoes dating to about St Anthony the Great? The next panel shows St Bartholomew holding his flayed skin and accompanied by an unidentified bishop, and then comes St Bernard? The former has his gridiron, and the latter stones about to strike his head.
These frescoes would have been overseen by the Benedictine community if the dating is right, so it is odd that St Bernard and the monk venerating him are both in white cowls as if the latter was a Cistercian monk as well. Perhaps the original donor was one.
This aisle has a side-altar dedicated to the Nativity, with an anonymous 16th century altarpiece showing The Adoration of the Shepherds. There is no proper aedicule, but the painting has a very elaborate Baroque marble frame with an incut pediment and several winged putto's heads in the carving. This is now the Blessed Sacrament altar, and on the altar itself is a free-standing patinated bronze tabernacle. This interesting modern work is cylindrical with nail-head decoration, a little fish-scale cupola and a relief of The Last Supper. It is the best modern work of art in the church.
Near the transept is a fine Baroque memorial to Luigi D'Aquino It is in polychrome stonework, with a backing in red marble, an epitaph in black framed in yellow Siena marble and with a funerary urn in a pink and black brecciated marble over this. Two chilled-out lions are slumped on the urn, and at the top is a good portrait bust in an oval tondo. The bottom left hand corner of the church has more 14th century frescoes: On the arcade pier is a saintly pope St Leo?
Then comes St Augustine of Hippo? The central one is an early monastic. Then comes a pope and two saints in a sailing boat on water full of fish, which is a depiction of the Barque of St Peter. Finally there is another unidentifiable bishop. One fragmentary scene survives of a lower register, which looks like a martyrdom with a sword. The left hand aisle has two altars. The first, unusually with a very small polygonal mensa, has a painting by Giovanni da San Giovanni of The Annunciation in an elaborate gilded Baroque wall-frame over a grille. The idea here is that a private Mass could be said for a small number of nuns in the chamber on the other side.
To the right of the altar is an access door now permanently closed , over which is a 17th century fresco of two putti. The next altar on the left-hand side is dedicated to St Sebastian , and the relic of his skull is venerated here. Two thin and tapered red marble Ionic columns support a split and separated triangular pediment, and flank an altarpiece by Giovanni Baglione depicting SS Irene and Lucina Tend the Wounds of St Sebastian. Below this is a diapered grating flanked by curlicues and black marble, through which you can see the little Baroque shrine containing the skull.
In between the grille and the altarpiece is an epigraph describing the enshrinement in There follows the exit to the cloisters see below. Near the transept is a pair of monumental epitaphs, one above the other, to Cardinal Pietro Respighi and his nephew Carlo. Standing on the floor below these is a short marble column with a crude Corinthian capital, thought to have come from the altar screen of the 9th century Leonine basilica.
The cloisters are accessed through a door in the left hand aisle. It used to be that you had to accost the church custodian or one of the nuns to unlock this door for you. Hopefully, since the recent restoration, the door will be found left open when the church is open to visitors but see note in section on "Access". This is often called one of the quietest and most peaceful locations in Rome.
Visitors should reciprocate and be quiet themselves, as the cloisters are part of a working nunnery. If the behaviour of visitors becomes a problem, access arrangements might change for example, to restricted guided tours. This set of cloisters were constructed in the early 13th century by it is thought the Cosmati for the Benedictine community in residence. There is an obvious dependence in design on the cloisters at the mother abbey of Sassovivo, which are known to have been finished by and which were designed by one Pietro de Maria.
He was probably the architect in charge here, too. The plan is rectangular, with ambulatories walkways on all four sides. There is a central garden measuring ten by fifteen metres, which together with the fabric has been very well restored recently. The short sides, north and south, have two runs of six arches each, separated by a central pillar. The long sides each have two runs of eight arches each, separated by a slightly larger arch flanked by a pair of piers in the Doric style and with incut corners, which serves as a garden entrance. These arcade arches spring from slab imposts each supported by a pair of small columns with liliform bell capitals.
The corner and garden entrance piers, as well as the pillars in the short sides, each have a pair of applied ribbed pilasters as springers for the arches at their sides. The intradoses of the arches have original geometric fresco decoration, showing tessellated triangles in black and white, and teardrops in red and green on a white background. The arch archivolts each have a single incut fillet, and these join at the bottoms of the archivolts on little corbels above the imposts to give a pleasant undulating pendant effect.
The walkways used to have tiled roofs, until the new orphanage built second storeys over all four sides. Two sides, the north and the east, have open loggias with very simple pillars between the openings. These two loggias connect with the gallery over the entrance loggia of the church, and so enable the nuns to get around their convent without having to cross an open courtyard.
When this work was carried out, the walkways were vaulted. The original mediaeval roofline cornices were, however preserved. These feature brick dentillations either side of a row of marble modlillions or little brackets, and in between the modillions are mosaic panels in the Cosmatesque style featuring stars, crosses and squares. In the centre of the garden is a 12th century fountain or cantaro, now in a pool in the shape of the cross-section of one of the garth entrance piers, but which was once in the second courtyard.
From the garden you can see the grim brick frontage of the south end of the church's transept, with round-headed windows and putlog holes for scaffolding. From the cloisters you reach the Cappella di Santa Barbara. It is now a separate edifice, but was originally part of the 9th century Leonine basilica and had an entrance off its now demolished left hand aisle.
The Paschaline rebuilding in the 12th century left it isolated, until it was joined to the cloisters when they were built. The chapel has its own Italian Wikipedia page here. The plan of the chapel is approximately square, although the walls are of slightly different lengths. The north wall to the left on entering used to contain the entrance from the church, and now abuts onto a chamber once used by the nuns to hear private Masses said on the Annunciation altar in the church. The other three walls contain narrow, tall apses with conchs, and the western one has had the cloister entrance knocked through it.
All the interior walling is in brick. There is a cross-vault, supported by deep square marble corbels with several bands of intricately decorated moldings. These are possibly 4th or 5th century. The walls used to be entirely frescoed, but the work has deteriorated seriously and is now only in fragments.
Traces of original 9th century work survive over the south apse. The rest is 14th century. The vault shows the four symbols of the Evangelists, the eastern apse contains a Madonna and Child with saints above and the northern wall has a fragment depicting a bishop. The other panels show scenes from the legend of St Barbara.
The rectangular window over the eastern apse preserves its originally pierced marble screen or transenna. The corresponding window over the entrance apse has been provided with a copy. On the walls have been placed fragments of 9th century marble screen-slabs or plutei from the Leonine basilica.
The former palace of the cardinals, north of the church, has several rooms of architectural and artistic interest but these are within the enclosure of the nunnery and so are not readily visitable. The Cappella di San Nicola was a chapel on the right hand side of the Leonine basilica which matched the chapel of St Barbara described above.
It has left its fabric in the present edifice. The refectory or dining-hall of the nuns occupies the right hand aisle of the Leonine basilica. Recent restoration work has revealed remains of the colonnade on this side, also the original 9th century floor which is a polychrome opus sectile work featuring stylized flowers. Apparently fragments of sculpture from the lost Arch of Augustus in the Roman Forum are to be found in the kitchen! The main entrance to the Augustinian nunnery is to the right in the second courtyard.
The chamber beyond the door is the so-called Stanza del Calendario, because of a liturgical calendar or ordo recitandi painted as fresco for the use of the monks in the second half of the 13th century. Extensive building works were conducted between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries at well-known abbeys such as Byland, Fountains, Kirkstall, and Rievaulx, and also at lesser-known houses including Calder and Holm Cultram, and at many convents of Cistercian nuns.
This study examines the motives of Cistercian patrons and the extent to which the Order continued to enjoy the benefaction of lay society. Featuring over a hundred illustrations and eight colour plates, this book demonstrates that the Cistercians remained at the forefront of late medieval artistic developments, and also shows how the Order expressed its identity in its visual and material cultures until the end of the Middle Ages.
If you have personal access to this content, log in with your username and password here:. Author: Michael Carter. Description Table of Content PDF The Cistercian abbeys of northern England provide some of the finest monastic remains in all of Europe, and much has been written on their twelfth- and thirteenth-century architecture.
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