The page covers:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
S. Ivo dei Brittoni
Via di Ripetta
S. Girolamo degli Schiavoni
S. Maria in Porta Paradisi (and rear entrance to S. Giacomo in Augusta)
Conservatorio della Divina Provvidenza
Giuseppe Vasi published in 1756 his sixth book of views of ancient and modern Rome which covered its parish churches; some of them had an imposing appearance
(e.g. S. Maria in Campitelli),
others had a fascinating history (e.g. S. Agnese fuori le Mura);
when the parish church was uninteresting, Vasi utilized it to show something else; he did so in this etching where S. Ivo dei Brittoni is the excuse for showing Via di Ripetta, a street opened by
Pope Leo X to link Porta del Popolo, the main entrance to Rome, with the centre of the city.
The view is taken from the green dot in the small 1748 map here below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Strada di Ripetta; 2) Palazzo Cardelli; 3) Palazzo Borghese per la famiglia; 4) Obelisk in Piazza del Popolo; 5) Porto di Ripetta; 6) S. Ivo dei Brittoni; 7) Collegio Clementino. 3), 4), 5) and 7) are shown in detail in other pages. The small map does not show the location of the obelisk, but it shows also 8) S. Girolamo degli Schiavoni; 9) S. Rocco; 10) S. Maria in Porta Paradisi; 11) Conservatorio della Divina Provvidenza.
The view in August 2010: (left) S. Ivo dei Brittoni is hidden by the house in the foreground and Collegio Clementino, at the end of the small street on the left, has been replaced by a late 1930s building;
(right) the white building is the modern museum which houses "Ara Pacis Augustae";
the building with the blue European flag is the rear section of Palazzo Borghese
The small houses at the centre of the plate were replaced by a larger one, Collegio Clementino no longer exists, S. Ivo dei Brittoni was slightly relocated and Porto di Ripetta was demolished in the late 1880s. Notwithstanding all these changes the view over Via di Ripetta is still similar to that shown in the etching.
(left) New fašade; (right-above) detail of the 1748 map showing the church (No. 504) and the same map "adjusted" to
reflect its current location; (right-below) Renaissance glazed terracotta tondo (School of the Della Robbia, previously inside the old church) between two XIXth century additions
In 1455 Cardinal Alain de CoŰtivy from a noble family of Brittany obtained the assignment of a very small church for his countrymen living in Rome; the dedication of the church was changed from S. Andrea de' Marmorari to S. Ivo dei Brittoni (St. Ives was born in Brittany in 1253 and he spent there all his life) and the building was renovated during the XVIth century.
The Duchy of Brittany was a feudal state in today's north-western France; the dukes tried to retain their independence in the long conflict between England and France, but eventually in 1491 Duchess Anne of Brittany was forced to marry King Charles VIII of France; the personal union between the two states ended in 1532 when the Duchy was absorbed into the Kingdom of France. In 1582 the brotherhood in charge of S. Ivo dei Brittoni was merged with that of S. Luigi dei Francesi, but the church retained its reference to Brittany.
In 1878 S. Ivo dei Brittoni was demolished and rebuilt in a slightly different location by Luca Carimini, who designed an early Renaissance fašade; unfortunately he used pietra serena, a grey sandstone, typical of many Florentine monuments, but which deteriorates rapidly, so that the reliefs at the sides of the portal are already worn out.
(left) Interior; (right-above) altar with the "ermine" (i.e. a fur represented as black spots on a white background - it opens in another window), the heraldic symbol of Brittany; (right-below) Cosmati work floor
The church is one of the French religious institutions in Rome (Pieux ╔tablissements de la France) which include also S. Luigi dei Francesi, S. Nicola dei Lorenesi, SS. Andrea e Claudio dei Borgognoni and SS. TrinitÓ dei Monti. You may wish to see a directory of national churches in Rome.
Palazzo Cardelli and (inset) detail of the cornice showing the heraldic symbols of the family: Cardelli means small thistles
The construction of Palazzo Cardelli started in 1516 when Jacopo Cardelli, a close friend of Cardinal Raffaele Riario, nephew of Pope Sixtus IV and secretary to Pope Leo X, bought some small houses to build a family palace for his four sons. The current building, where the Cardelli still live, is the result of five centuries of additions and modifications; the fašade was designed by Francesco da Volterra towards the end of the XVIth century.
Pensive loggia designed by Andrea Palombo and decorated with stuccoes by Pietro Paolo Nardini in the rear part of Palazzo Cardelli (ca 1660)
Detail of the pensive loggia seen from the street
(left) Section of Via di Ripetta starting from the former harbour; the image shows how S. Rocco and S. Girolamo degli Schiavoni were isolated from the adjoining buildings in the 1930s; (right) Fontana della Botte (cask of wine), a fountain which was located along the street in a house adjoining S. Rocco
Via Leonina was opened by Pope Leo X to promote the development of the area
between the river and Via del Corso and to facilitate the access of pilgrims to the centre of Rome during the forthcoming 1525 Jubilee Year; a tax was levied on the many prostitutes who lived near Porto di Ripetta; the new street
increased the value of Palazzo Medici Lante and Palazzo Madama which were located at its beginning and belonged to the Pope's family.
The Romans soon changed the name of the street; its initial section became known as Via della Scrofa, after a small fountain portraying a sow (It. scrofa), while that reaching Piazza del Popolo was named after Porto di Ripetta.
Today a modern portico between S. Girolamo and S. Rocco houses Fontana della Botte, a fountain which was built in 1774 during the pontificate of Pope Clement XIV; it was paid for by the many innkeepers who had their trade in the neighbourhood and it was supplied by Acqua Vergine.
The church is today known as S. Girolamo dei Croati and it is the national church of Croatia in Rome; in the XIVth century Schiavonia was the name given to a region which today is shared among Croatia, Serbia and Hungary;
when it was invaded by the Ottomans some of its inhabitants fled the country. A group of refugees settled near Porto di Ripetta where they were assigned a small church.
In 1570 Cardinal Felice Peretti was appointed titular cardinal of the church; when he was elected Pope Sixtus V he commissioned its total reconstruction which was completed by 1589; the fašade was designed by Martino Longhi.
(left) Presbytery; (right) coat of arms of Dalmatia (three heraldic leopards) (left) and Croatia (right)
Pope Sixtus V had been at the head of the Franciscan Order before being elected Pope. Franciscan monks played a major role in setting the foundation of the modern Croatian language by writing a history of the country in 1756 and by developing a Latin-Italian-Croatian dictionary in 1810. In 1970 Nikola Tavelic, a Franciscan monk who was sentenced to death at Jerusalem in 1391, was the first Croatian to be canonized.
St. Jerome is ordained by Bishop Paulinus of Antioch, fresco by Antonio Viviani and Andrea Lilli. The fresco imitates a tapestry which is decorated with the heraldic symbols of Dalmatia and of Pope Sixtus V. You may wish to see a similar fresco/tapestry at S. Giovanni in Laterano which was made at almost the same time
The dedication to St. Jerome (347-420) is due to the fact that this Doctor of the Church was born in Pannonia, a Roman province which included parts of today's Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. The exact location of Stridon, his hometown, is debated. He is best known for his ascetic life. The lions shown in the fresco became his friends after he extracted a thorn from the paw of one of them.
In 1477-479 a bubonic plague spread throughout Italy and caused an increased devotion to St. Roch, a XIVth century French saint who was specially invoked against this disease; in 1499 Pope Alexander VI endorsed the foundation of a brotherhood which was aimed at assisting the persons infected with the plague; a hospital and a church dedicated to St. Roch were completed by 1503 (you may wish to see the latter in a 1588 Guide to Rome). The fašade was redesigned by Giuseppe Valadier in 1834; the activity of the hospital was supported by the guilds of the innkeepers and boatmen of Porto di Ripetta. You may wish to see a directory of churches belonging to a guild.
Poster and standards for a celebration of St. Roch showing the traditional iconography of the saint. He is identified by a sore on his thigh and by a dog bringing him a loaf of bread
Bubonic plagues were recurring pestilences and churches and chapels dedicated to St. Roch can be found in many Italian towns. A pestilence in 1656 caused many deaths in Rome and its environs. At Arsoli 80% of the population died. Many Italian brotherhoods named after St. Roch are still active and are part of a European association (you may wish to see their website - it opens in another window).
In the XIXth century the hospital was given a very particular purpose:
The hospital contains seventy beds, furnished with curtains and screens, so as to separate them effectually. Females are admitted without giving their name, their country, or their condition in life; and such is the delicacy observed in their regard, that they are at liberty to wear a veil, so as to remain unknown even to their attendants, in order to save the honour of their families, and prevent abortion, suicide, or infanticide. Even should death ensue, the deceased remains unknown. The children are conveyed to Santo Spirito; and the mother who wishes to retain her offspring, affixes a distinctive mark, by which it may be recognised and recovered. To remove all disquietude from the minds of those who may enter, the establishment is exempt from all civil, criminal, and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and its threshold is never crossed except by persons connected with the establishment.
Rev. Jeremiah Donovan - Rome Ancient and Modern - 1843.
(left) Fašade; (centre) statue attributed to Andrea Sansovino and 1523 inscription making reference to a pestilence; (right-above) detail of a capital, similar to those at S. Maria di Loreto and at S. Maria in Domnica and based on ancient capitals at Villa Adriana; (right-below) alms box
In 1494 a new disease spread throughout Italy; it was called male gallico or mal francese because it was associated with the passage of the French army of King Charles VIII en route to Naples (the French called it mal de Naples); eventually
in 1530 Italian physician Girolamo Fracastoro called it syphilis, after the main character of a poem he wrote: Syphilus, a shepherd boy of Hispaniola who was punished for his misdeeds with that disease.
In order to cope with the epidemic Pope Leo X enlarged Spedale di S. Giacomo in Augusta, a XIVth century hospital along Via del Corso; its two long wards reached Via di Ripetta where a small church was built. Because it was located near the mortuary which was called Paradiso, the church was called S. Maria Porta Paradisi; its fašade was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.
Fašade of the northern ward of Spedale di S. Giacomo in Augusta. It bears the symbol of Spedale di S. Spirito because for a period it was a branch of it
The entrance to the northern ward was given the shape of a church fašade by Francesco da Volterra in the second half of the XVIth century (you may wish to see it in a 1588 Guide to Rome).
(left) Fašade along Via di Ripetta; (centre) window of Cappella di S. Maria del Rosario; (right) the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo seen from Via di Ripetta
The Conservatory shelters 100 poor but decent females, who are taught reading, writing, needle work, embroidery, etc.
Rev. Jeremiah Donovan - Rome Ancient and Modern - 1843
Conservatorio della Divina Provvidenza was one of the many institutions of XVIIIth century Rome which cared for women in danger; the huge building near the end of Via di Ripetta has the appearance of a prison and probably the life of the women who lived inside its walls was not very different from that of the inmates of the female prison at Ospizio di S. Michele. The only decorative element of the fašade is a window which gave light to an internal chapel. Currently the building houses a luxury residence for short stays and the chapel is used for business meetings.
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:
Accanto alla chiesa di s. Maria de' Miracoli sý apre la sopraddetta strada, e seguita di retta linea a fianco del Tevere, e per˛ in essa si fa lo scarico della legna da lavorare, e da ardere. Si disse prima questa contrada de' Schiavoni, perchŔ caduto nell'an. 1453. l'Imperio Orientale in mano de' Turchi, molti di quella nazione per non stare sotto la tirannide di essi, quivi vennero ad abitare: ora per˛ prende il nome dal Porto, che in questa strada corrisponde.
Dopo il palazzo del March. Capponi siegue a destra il conservatorio per le povere donzelle orfane, che per la cappella dedicata all'Arcangelo s. Michele, di questo portano ancora il nome: ma il proprio loro nome Ŕ della divina Provvidenza, perchŔ vivono coll'industrie delle proprie mani, e coll'elemosine de' benefattori.
Piccola, ma nobile Ŕ questa cappella o chiesa, che vogliam dire; dicevasi anticamente in Augusta per il celebre mausoleo di quell'Eroe, che stava qui vicino. Fu fatta di nuovo l'anno 1628. per un legato di Matteo Caccia medico dello spedale degl'Incurabili, a cui Ŕ unita; ed Ŕ ornata con marmi, pitture e bassirilievi di marmo. Quello nell'altare a mano destra Ŕ di Gio. Francesco de' Rossi; l'altro incontro, ed il deposto del suddetto medico sono di Cosimo Fancelli; e quelle sull'altare di mezzo sono di Francesco Brunetti Bolognese; e le pitture nella cupola di Pietro Paolo Baldini; le altre poi di Lorenzo Greuter.
Da una confraternita di barcaroli, osti, ed altri consimili impieghi, fu eretta a tre navate questa magnifica
chiesa l'anno 1657. col disegno di Gio. Antonio de' Rossi ed Ŕ ornata di marmi e di pitture. Il quadro nella
seconda cappella a destra Ŕ di Baciccio Gauli; le pitture nella cappella della ss. Vergine sono del
Carosi; il s. Rocco nell'altare maggiore di Giacinto Brandi, il s. Martino a cavallo, di Bernardo da
Formello; il s. Antonio di Padova Ŕ di Gregorio Calabrese, e le pitture nella cupoletta e lunette sono
di Francesco Rosa.