The work of young Michelangelo together with precious saint relics in a church museum

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Michelangelo Buonarroti is one of the greatest artists of all times, with sculptures that almost touch perfection, like David (found in Florence), Moses (part of the tomb of Pope Julius II in the church San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome) or Pieta (found inside St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican). His paintings also made history, as was the case with The Sacred Family (found in Florence at Uffizi Gallery), the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Last Judgment (at the Vatican, Rome).

In a less famous church in Rome, San Giovanni Battista (John the Baptist) of the Florentines, can be seen a statue attributed to Michelangelo. The statue represents the slender silhouette of John the Baptist holding a cross and is thought to have been made in the early years of Michelangelo. The marble statue was previously attributed to Donatello.

The collection found at the upper level of Giovanni Battista church sums up art objects and relics donated by the Florentine community in Rome. The most distinguished disciple of Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, has two sculptures in this collection, the bust of Antonio Cepparello and the bust of Antonio Coppola. A traditional theme in Christian art, the Madonna with Child, is found in several sculpted or painted representations by Pierino da Vinci, Daniele da Volterra, Girolamo Batoni. The relics are hosted in reliquaries crafted in gold, silver, wood or bronze in a jewelry like style, one signed by Benvenuto Cellini.

John the Baptist was chosen as protector of Florence, one of the most active town of Renaissance. The church in Rome dedicated to John the Baptist was commissioned in the 16 century, and even Michelangelo submitted a project for it, but the project of Giacomo della Porta was preferred. The church of the Florentines is found on the boulevard that continues the bridge over Tiber constructed by Donato Bramante, in front of Castel Sant’Angelo. It is one of the main artery connecting the main city and Saint Peter’s Cathedral, another work of Bramante.

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