In a city packed with Berninis, the one you HAVEN’T seen

It’s undeniable. Rome is Bernini’s city. As much as I have a love/hate/hate relationship with Baroque art, I have to give it to Bernini because dude got around. While his giant collonaded arms at St. Peter’s or his St. Theresa in Ecstasy are perhaps his most visited and appreciated monuments (probably I’m forgetting something big, because I’m emphatically not a Baroque scholar), this morning while trying to get motivated for research I took a trip over to Trastevere to see a little-visited, but still awesome Bernini sculpture. And it is in fact on my Lonely Planet list, so, yay, two birds, one stone. It’s this:

technically I was not supposed to be taking this picture, hence the not great quality. But I did give an offering to the church to make up for my illicit photo-taking
technically I was not supposed to be taking this picture, hence the not great quality. But I did give an offering to the church to make up for my illicit photo-taking

Which is located in this church:

pretty!
pretty!

Which is on this street:

oh Trastevere, you charming, annoying neighborhood, you
oh Trastevere, you charming, annoying neighborhood, you

So what is that fancy, illicitly photographed Bernini sculpture up there? Well, it’s another lady in ecstasy of course! For which I say to Bernini, bravo maestro! Way to stick to a theme! More specifically it’s Beata Ludovica Albertoni in her ecstatic death-throes. Here’s another one of my stolen photos:

ecstatic!
ecstatic!

and here’s a photo from wikimedia commons, where you can actually see her a bit better:

image credit: wikimedia commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Giovanni_Lorenzo_Bernini-Blessed_Ludovica_Albertoni-Basilica_of_San_Francesco_a_Ripa.jpg#filelinks. accessed 7/12/12
image credit: wikimedia commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Giovanni_Lorenzo_Bernini-Blessed_Ludovica_Albertoni-Basilica_of_San_Francesco_a_Ripa.jpg#filelinks. accessed 7/12/12

Looks like she’s enjoying herself, no? I had the church to myself (except for a couple workmen setting up a manger scene in one of the chapels), which is always fun. And while San Francesco a Ripa is in my Lonely Planet guide, it is definitely not given much credit as a destination. So get off the tour bus path, and check out Bernini’s commitment to female ecstasy without all the crowds!

Happy Weekend!

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2 thoughts on “In a city packed with Berninis, the one you HAVEN’T seen

  1. Brenna,

    I’m SO enjoying your trip and your photos.
    Keep them coming!

    Bernini happens to be one of my absolute favs!!

    Your 2nd cousin once removed.

    Donna Pierce (Hannah) Clark 🙂

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