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Santa Maria dell’Anima
Santa Maria dell’Anima - click to enlarge

Santa Maria dell’Anima stands on an ancient hospice for German, Dutch and Flemish pilgrims, and perhaps because of his origin today is the German national church, obviously Mass in German language and of course the church is perfectly maintained.

Pope Eugenius IV (1441 - 1447) began the construction, which later, between 1500 and 1515, was redesigned probably by Giuliano da Sangallo (1445-1516), while the facade is attributed to Andrea Sansovino (1467-1529).

The Renaissance bell tower, with its majolica cusp, unique in the panorama of Rome, is tentatively attributed to Bramante (1444 - 1514), author of the nearby monastery of Santa Maria della Pace, or more likely to Andrea Sansovino.

Santa Maria dell’Anima - The bell tower
The bell tower - click to enlarge

The interior, one nave and two side aisles, has four chapels on each side and with its accentuated verticality, is inspired by the Sondergotik of Bavarian churches, style that had a certain diffusion in Italy at the turn of the ’500.

In the first chapel of the right aisle the altarpiece, the work of Carlo Saraceni (1579 - 1620), portrays Saint Benone receiving the keys of the Meisen cathedral.
In the second chapel on the left wall, the beautiful portrait of Cardinal Sluse was carved by Ercole Ferrata (1610 - 1686), one of the greatest sculptors of the Baroque age.

Santa Maria dell’Anima - Portrait of Cardinal Sluse
Portrait of Cardinal Sluse - click to enlarge

In the third chapel the remarkable Cycle of stories of the Virgin is the work of Girolamo Siciolante, named Sermoneta (1521 - 1575).

Santa Maria dell’Anima - Cycle of stories of the Virgin Santa Maria dell’Anima - Cycle of stories of the Virgin
Cycle of stories of the Virgin - click to enlarge

In the fourth chapel the Pietà by Lorenzetto (1490 1541), is an original interpretation of the famous Pietà by Michelangelo, completed by Nanni di Baccio Bigio, fierce opponent of Michelangelo, who died in 1568, four years after his archenemy. Lorenzetto, one of Raphael's aid, married the sister of Giulio Romano (1449 - 1546), the key assistant of the same Raphael, who painted the splendid main altarpiece.

Santa Maria dell’Anima - Lorenzetto: Pietà
Lorenzetto: Pietà - click to enlarge

In the apse to the right we see the tomb of Pope Adrian VI (Utrecht 1459 - Rome 1523), designed by Baldassare Peruzzi (1481-1536); turning to the left aisle, the fourth chapel altarpiece shows an intense Deposition of the famous Francesco Salviati (1510 – 1563).

Santa Maria dell’Anima - Tomb of Pope Adrian VI
Tomb of Pope Adrian VI - click to enlarge

Curiously, we can point out, in this church worked many artists connected to Raphael, namely Baldassare Peruzzi, Andrea Sansovino, Giuliano da Sangallo, Giulio Romano, Lorenzetto.
In conclusion this church to its original architecture and the works of artists such as: Sermoneta, Francesco Salviati, Carlo Saraceni, Ercole Ferrata and the cited Baldassarre Peruzzi, Giulio Romano, Lorenzetto, deserves special attention also in the rich panorama of Rome.



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