| |

Bernini’s Angels Are A Challenge To Find But It’s Worth It

Bernini’s Angels are among his sculptures that can be found all over Rome in well-known spots, but some are less obvious than others and these are hidden gems.

Bernini's Angels - Church Altar

The Church Altar

The church of S. Andrea delle Fratte, also known as Shrine of Our Lady of the Miracle (Santuario Madonna del Miracolo), is a hidden gem in Rome and one that should be missed because of the statues known as being among Bernini’s Angels.

Bernini’s Angels

On both sides of the high altar are placed the two large marble statues of Angels bearing instruments and symbols of the Passion. The two beautiful statues are taller than was typical for the interior of a church because these are the originals that GianLorenzo Bernini, at seventy years old, sculpted for the decoration of Ponte Sant’Angelo.

Bernini's Angels - Angel With Crown Of Thorns

The Angel With A Crown Of Thorns

These were part of the ten angels that Bernini designed for the bridge, but only these two were sculpted by him, while the others were carved by his pupils. It seemed inappropriate that these masterpieces should remain exposed to the ravages of time and weather, so they were left in the artist’s studio until they were donated by the heirs of the artist, who lived in a building not far away, to the church of S. Andrea delle Fratte in 1731.

Where Are Bernini’s Works In Rome?

Because of Bernini’s skill as a sculptor and friendships with important political and religious figures in Rome, you can find Bernini art all over the city. In some cases, these are very obvious and popular spots, like Piazza Navona and the Borghese Gallery, but others are harder to find because they are hidden in churches that are less well known than St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Some of the well known statues of Bernini sculptures can be found in these really amazing locations:

Bernini's Angels - Angel With The Titulus

The Angel With The Titulus

What Are The Most Famous Works Of Gian Lorenzo Bernini?

There is no doubt that you have probably enjoyed Bernini’s art, and possibly didn’t even know it. His art is on display in the most famous and popular places in Rome, so itemizing his most famous works is a little difficult. However, I would make sure that you don’t miss these spots on your next vacation in Rome:

  • Famous Fountains Of Bernini – My favorite Bernini fountain can be found in the center of Piazza Navona. The Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) was designed by the sculptor and built by a team of sculptors. One hidden gem is the Fountain of the Bees (Fontana delle Api) in a corner of Piazza Barberini near his more famous Fountain of Triton (Fontana del Tritone).

  • Famous Sculptures Of Bernini – My favorite collection of Bernini statues is found at the Borghese Gallery, but there is more around the city. The Borghese Gallery is laid out to highlight the sculptures by placing them in the center of the room, with well designed lighting and access from all directions. These include: Apollo And Daphne, David and The Rape of Proserpina.

Where Is Bernini Buried?

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was the leading Italian sculptor and architect of his time. His art is found all over Rome and in particular at the Borghese Museum due to his relationship with the powerful Cardinal Scipione Borghese and his uncle Pope Paul V (formerly known as Camillo Borghese). This relationship was probably instrumental in having the Bernini family tomb located in the Papal Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore.

Borromini’s Bell Tower

A contemporary and rival of Bernini, Francesco Borromini was responsible for building the bell tower atop the church. This bell tower is a stunning example of Borrominian architecture, made up of four parts tightly superimposed on each other. Above a high square base, closed at the corners by columns with Corinthian capitals, rests the belfry with a similar structure. The round temple recalls similar ancient buildings in Rome with the eight columns that make it up being joined with masonry, two by two, leaving room for the movement of the bells.

Bernini's Angels - The Cloister Garth

The Cloister Garth

The Cloisters Of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte 

When you enter the church and head towards the altar, there is a doorway on your right that will lead out to  a large rectangular cloister, arcaded/porticoed on all four sides, and the main friary buildings are arranged around three sides. The cloister garth is laid out as a nice garden with orange trees and cypresses. 

The cloister walks have arcades with Doric columns and on the inner walls is a series of 17th century lunette frescoes of the life and miracles of St Francis of Paola, the founder of the Minims. The center fountain in the garden is in the shape of a big pile of moss. The trickle of water dampens the moss covered rocks and cools down the surrounding air. Sounds like a Swamp Cooler to me.

The Conservatory of Santa Cecilia

When you approach the church, to the right of the main entrance you will see a gold placard indicating that this is also, in addition to being friary, the headquarters (sede), or more accurately a seat or location of the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia (Conservatorio Statale di Musica di Roma “Santa Cecilia”) be it is only an office. The location you are probably looking for is: Via dei Greci, 18, 00187, in Rome.

Bernini's Angels - Electric Candles

Electric Candles

More Roman Beauty To Experience

If you enjoyed this article about Bernini’s Angels in Rome and are looking for more ideas for sites to see in the Eternal City, these articles might be of interest to you:

Similar Posts