Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cappella Bessarione... a hidden Renaissance gem in Rome.

The Cappella Bessarione in the Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli was built for the Byzantine Cardinal Bessarione in the XV century - it houses splendid frescoes (1464-1468) by Antoniazzo Romano, with Melozzo da Forlì help (will do a Melozzo tour soon) - among the surviving frescoes there are Le Storie di San Michele Arcangelo and Il Coro di Angeli (with strong Medieval influence). The chapel was walled in the XVIII century for the construction of the Odescalchi Chapel and was found in 1959 during excavation for the restoration of the near Palazzo Colonna. The Chapel (or what remains of it, which is for Roman standards, due to Tiber floodings and Lanzichenecchi robberies, much!) lies within a thin corridor, and there are two - levels made in order to admire both the Storie di San Michele and the Madonna e bambino which lies where the altar used to be. If you look down you can see the original floor of the VI century church destroyed by an earthquake in the XIV century. Antoniazzo and Melozzo are those who inspired Michelangelo who was a worshipper of this Basilica for 50 years so despite the timetable do visit the cappella! The chapel is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9.00AM to 12:00PM. I had the chance to visit it on my own today and it was great. It is always a privilege to get to see these masterpieces while being alone - just you, the artist... and God!

 Sogno di Sant'Auberto a Mont Saint Michel.
 The Choir of Angel (a hem of Christ's garment can still be seen - that is now lost). (With Melozzo's help).
 Apparizione dell'Arcangelo a Siponto nel Gargano. (with Melozzo's help).
 Sogno di Sant'Auberto a Mont Saint Michel.
 Sogno di Sant'Auberto a Mont Saint Michel.
 The first Basilica's floor.

 Madonna con Bambino.

Madonna con Bambino.

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