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Renaissance in Rome

Renaissance art in Rome: a guide to discover monuments, churches and palaces by great Renaissance artists.


Renaissance art in Rome began to appear around the second half of the fifteenth century. Arriving from Florence, which was considered as the undisputed stage of the Renaissance, also known as " the Cradle of the Renaissance"; artists, painters, sculptors and architects moved to Rome, where they would eventually complete some of the world's most famous work. During this period,  the Popes in Rome became real patrons and it is thanks to their funding that artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Antonio da Sangallo, Pietro da Cortona, Bramante, and many others started to work, completing some of their most important work in the city.

 

Rome during the Renaissance would have seemed like a real construction site: the city was in the middle of archaeological excavations that unearthed large amounts of historical artifacts dating back to ancient Rome, such as the famous Domus Aurea of Nero. During this period, the Church also paid great attention to the restoration of churches and monuments for which they called on the greatest architects and painters. In particular, the palaces and churches in Rome were elaborated with frescoes and decorations of rare beauty that you can still visit today.


Among the most important artistic projects of the Renaissance in Rome, was the reconstruction and decoration of the Sistine Chapel.  This Vatican palace chapel was dedicated to Pope Sixtus IV. For this ambitious project, Lorenzo the Magnificent from Florence sent the most illustrious artists of the moment to Rome, including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli. Inside the Vatican Museums, in addition to the Sistine Chapel, you can also admire many examples of Roman Renaissance art, including masterpieces by Raphael, another protagonist of Renaissance art in Rome, who added many paintings and frescoes preserved in the Rooms and Loggias dedicated to his work Raphael. If you are interested in Renaissance art, we suggest you also visit the Borghese Gallery, where you'll find an impressive collection of Raphael and Caravaggio.

 

Examples of Renaissance art are everywhere in Rome, such as: Renaissance palaces like Palazzo Farnese, built by Antonio da Sangallo and completed by Michelangelo; Palazzo Spada, Palace of the Chancellery, now the headquarters of the Tribunal of the Sacred Rota and the beautiful Palazzo Venezia. We also suggest you visit Renaissance churches in Rome like the church of  Our Lady of the People, which contains masterpieces by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Caravaggio; and the Church of St. Augustine, which contains a fresco by Raphael and the famous Madonna of the Pilgrims of Michelangelo Merisi by Caravaggio. We should also mention the Renaissance facade of the Church of Rome's French Community by Giacomo della Porta and the Church of Our Lady of Peace, where you can admire the chapels designed by Sangallo, the "Sibyls" painted by Raphael, the frescoes by Baldassarre Peruzzi and especially the famous Chiostro del Bramante.


Among the other monuments of the Renaissance, we suggest you visit Ponte Sisto, dedicated to Pope Sixtus IV; Via Giulia, the famous Roman road designed by Bramante; and the Campidoglio Square and Campo dei Fiori, where you can admire the statue of Giordano Bruno


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