Fodor's Expert Review Santa Maria del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice
Facade, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome, Italy

Standing inconspicuously in a corner of the vast Piazza del Popolo, this church often goes unnoticed, but the treasures inside make it a must for art lovers. Bramante enlarged the apse of the church, which was rebuilt in the 15th century on the site of a much older place of worship. Inside, in the first chapel on the right, you'll see some frescoes by Pinturicchio from the mid-15th century; the adjacent Cybo Chapel is a 17th-century exercise in decorative marble. Raphael designed the famous Chigi Chapel, the second on the left, with vault mosaics—showing God the Father in benediction—as well as statues of Jonah and Elijah. More than a century later, Bernini added the oval medallions on the tombs and the statues of Daniel and Habakkuk. Finally, the Cerasi Chapel, to the left of the high altar, holds two Caravaggios: The Crucifixion of St. Peter and The Conversion of St. Paul. Exuding drama and realism, both are key early Baroque works that show how "modern" 17th-century... READ MORE

Standing inconspicuously in a corner of the vast Piazza del Popolo, this church often goes unnoticed, but the treasures inside make it a must for art lovers. Bramante enlarged the apse of the church, which was rebuilt in the 15th century on the site of a much older place of worship. Inside, in the first chapel on the right, you'll see some frescoes by Pinturicchio from the mid-15th century; the adjacent Cybo Chapel is a 17th-century exercise in decorative marble. Raphael designed the famous Chigi Chapel, the second on the left, with vault mosaics—showing God the Father in benediction—as well as statues of Jonah and Elijah. More than a century later, Bernini added the oval medallions on the tombs and the statues of Daniel and Habakkuk. Finally, the Cerasi Chapel, to the left of the high altar, holds two Caravaggios: The Crucifixion of St. Peter and The Conversion of St. Paul. Exuding drama and realism, both are key early Baroque works that show how "modern" 17th-century art can appear. Compare their style with the much more restrained and classically "pure" Assumption of the Virgin by Annibale Carracci, which hangs over the altar of the chapel.

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Piazza del Popolo 12
Rome, Latium  00187, Italy

06-3610836

www.smariadelpopolo.com/it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

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