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All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to romapip@quipo.it. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.


Three chapels by Gian Lorenzo Bernini


Cappella Paluzzi Albertoni

The death of Pope Alexander VII in 1667 marked the end of a period. His successors refrained from embarking on large and expensive renovations of churches. The activity of Bernini slowed down: he worked for many years on a statue of Louis XIV (now in Versailles). In 1675 he designed a chapel in the peripheral church of S. Francesco a Ripa for the family Paluzzi-Albertoni, where his pictorial approach is even more evident than in the other chapels.

Overall view and the statue seen at natural light

The viewer is guided towards the end of the chapel by a sort of frame. There is no traditional altar, but a composition made by different materials and by different artists. A colored marble is shaped in the form of a drapery on which lies a statue of Beata Ludovica Albertoni (or perhaps St Anne) by Bernini. Above the statue a fine painting by Giovanni Battista Gaulli il Baciccio on a subject drawn by Bernini. Slightly above the statue, in a very unusual position, two series of stucco angels converge towards it. Finally the entire wall is covered by a gilded decoration.

Where the light comes from

Also in this chapel Bernini devised a hidden window to direct light on the face of Beata Ludovica Albertoni.
Other chapels by Gian Lorenzo Bernini:
Cappella Raimondi in S. Pietro in Montorio
Cappella Cornaro in S. Maria della Vittoria

Other pages dealing with Baroque sculpture:
Monuments showing the dead in a medallion
Representation of Death in Baroque sculptures
Statues in the act of praying
Bernini's Exiled Statue
Three busts by Alessandro Algardi
See also my List of Baroque Architects and my Directory of Baroque Sculpture.