From the Renaissance to the Baroque: Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
When your ship docks, Rome Transfer will be waiting to whisk you away in style and luxury. Having completed your transfer, your driver will be ready and waiting to help you transfer to your desired locations around Rome. With Rome Transfer’s hired car service, your transfer is fast and simple, allowing you to maximize your enjoyment and exploration of all the Eternal City has to offer.
S. Maria Sopra Minerva: from Michelangelo to Bernini
Two artists not to be missed while taking in the sights are Michelangelo Buonarroti and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. You are probably already familiar with the temperamental, brooding, Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo from his amazing frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. While the name Bernini might not be as familiar, his work is all over Rome and the Vatican, like his Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. Bernini dominated the artistic scene in the seventeenth-century and was frequently referred to as the Michelangelo of his age! At the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, you can appreciate both of these brilliant sculptors.
Tucked behind the Pantheon, this church, belonging to the Dominican order, is often over looked. In the piazza, you will see a statue of a charming elephant supporting an obelisk on his back. This captivating sculpture, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, is called the Pulcino della Minerva, or the little chick of Minerva). You have already seen several obelisks in Rome; some of the most famous are the ones in front of the Vatican, in Piazza Navona, and at the top of the Spanish Steps. This obelisk is one of the eleven found in Rome. These Egyptian obelisks were all transferred to Rome during the age of the Roman Empire, when Egypt belonged to the Romans. In the seventeenth century, the obelisk was unearthed in the Dominican’s garden. The sculpture imitates a Renaissance woodcut that symbolizes wisdom. This under appreciated monument in Rome was also referred to as the little piggy, porcino, due to its squat dimensions. Piggy or chick, this elephant is simply adorable! Unlike this short obelisk, Rome Transfer’s town cars are very spacious, allowing you to complete all your transfers in the utmost comfort and around the city.
Michelangelo’s Christ Carrying the Cross
Inside the church, just in front of the altar, stands Michelangelo’s majestic Christ the Redeemer. This over-life size marble statue of Christ was completed in 1521. While Michelangelo was carving the sculpture, he discovered a black vein in the marble used for Christ’s face. The sculptor then carved a new figure, which, today, stands to the left of the High Altar. The patron who commissioned the project, Metello Vari, was so pleased with Michelangelo’s work, that he also wanted the first version of the sculpture, with the black vein. He placed it his palace’s garden, which was located near Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. Michelangelo sculpted the Christ as a nude figure, which as accepted in Renaissance churches; however, after the Council of Trent, the Church followed more modest standards. Michelangelo’s Christ was given a bronze cloth for privacy, and according to Baroque aesthetics his leg was flexed and his head turned further back, to give the sculpture a more dynamic appearance. With Rome Transfer’s hired car, you will have all the privacy you need to conduct your transfers and meetings with the utmost discretion anywhere.
Facing Michelangelo’s Christ, is Bernin’s funerary monument to the Beata Maria Raggi. The church’s façade is one of the few remaining pieces of Gothic architecture in Rome. The interior painted with a blue ceiling filled with gilded stars in the nineteenth-century, in a Neo-Gothic restoration. Be sure to take some time to stroll around this church and enjoy all the wonderful artwork it has to offer, including the tomb of St. Catherine of Alexandria. Rome Transfer’s chauffeur service will be waiting patiently to fulfill all your transfer needs around the Eternal City.