Santa Maria dell'Orto

Santa Maria dell'Orto
The construction of the church was finished in 1566/67 with the work of Vignola and Guidetto Guidetti. Assignments to Michelangelo or to Giulio Romano are wrong, as also that one of Giovannoni who assigns the wall face to Martino Longhi the ancient, then claimed by Vignola and completed by Francesco Capriani da Volterra, named "il Volterra" .

The interior of the Church, three naves parted from pillars, is rich in paintings and marbles, but his peculiar characteristic is the profusion of white and gilt stuccoes that adorn the cross vaults and the apse. Even though it can be find certain plastic heaviness in the stuccoes, the whole turns out to be kind and delicate. Only to a close examination it is noticed, expecially in the vault of the apse, that the stucco has submerged the paintings banishing them, aesthetically speaking, in the background.

The chapels of the right nave - to whose beginning is the “Dream of St. Joseph (1706)” - are dedicated in this order:

Mary announced to the Angel of F. Zuccari (1528-1566)
Annunciation (University of the Merchants and of Sensali of Ripa and Ripetta)

Mary announced to the Angel of F. Zuccari (1528-1566), documented work (1561) restored in 1998.
St. Gabriel Archangel, of (1875) of V. Monti, and St. Joseph of Giovanni Capresi (1878).
St. Catherine of Alexandria (University of Vermicellari, craftsmen and dealers of alimentary dough)
Mystic wedding of the Holy one of F. Zucchetti (1711).
St. Paul and St. Peter, image of anonymous one of the sec. XVII. Restored in 1970 - 71
St. James, Bartholomew and Victoria (University of Vignaioli)
Vergin with the Child and Holy, of G. Baglione (1571-1644).
Martyrdom of a holy deacon and martyrdom of St. Andrew Apostle, frescoes of Baglione.

Santa Maria dell'Orto The little vaults in front of each chapel were frescoed, with the Glory of the respective holders, by the school of Garzi (1706).

Chapel of the transept, of the SS. Cross Crucifix (University of Pollaroli). Vault: Resurrection, fresco of G. Calandrucci (1646-1707). Walls: Histories of the Passion, frescoes of N. Trometta from Pesaro (1550-1622). Door at the end of the nave: Descent of the Holy Spirit, fresco of A. Procaccini (1704).

High Altar, drawing of Giacomo della Porta. There is venerated the image of Santa Maria dell’Orto. The sacred icon was removed with the whole building part from his site original and placed in the centre of the church, then, in 1556 it was moved on the high altar, but it was only in 1860 that it was transfered on the oval cloth of about cm. 120x140 and kept in the niche of the apse.

Apse – Frescoes represented histories of the Virgin of Taddeo and F. Zuccari, of Baglione and of C. Torelli. Polychrome glass door with monogram of Mary formed by fruits (sec. XVIII). In the vault of transept: the Conception, unknown's fresco (1706). On the door at the end to the left nave: Meeting of St. Anne with St. Gioacchino, fresco of A. Procaccini (1704).

Chapel of the transept, of St. Francis of Assisi (University of Padroni Molinari) - Altar: statue of the Holy one (sec. XVII). Vault: Glory of the same one, fresco of M. Garzi (1721). Walls and pillars: Histories of the Seraphic one, frescoes of Niccolò Martinelli called the Trometta.

The chapels of the left nave are, from the cruise, dedicated respectively to: St.Charles Borromeo, St. Ambrose and Bernard from Siena (University of Scarpinelli, Cobblers) Altar: The Virgin with the Child and Saints of Baglione (1640-41.-signed and dated work). Walls: scenes of the life of St Ambrose and Charles of Baglione.

St. John Baptist (University of Compagni and Giovani dei Pizzicaroli) - Architecture of G. Valvassori (1750). Altar: Baptism of Jesus, of Giaquinto (1750). Walls: Sermon and decapitation of Forerunner, of G. Ranucci (1779). Restaurated 1970 – 71

St. Sebastian (University of Ortolani) - Altar: the Holy curated by the angels, of G. Baglione (1624). Signed and dated work. Walls: St. Anthony from Padua and St. Bonaventura of Baglione. Restaurated 1970 - 71
On the entry door: Adoration of the shepherds, frescoes of the school of Garzi.

The monumental organ, of the foreshortening of XVIII century, is due to the munificence of Molinari’s family, with sculptures in gold wood, images of Madonna and mirrors with mills on Tiber.

In the means of the vault of central nave, fresco of G. Calandrucci: the Acceptance of Virgin Mary (1707).

Andrea Procaccini - Discesa dello Spirito SantoLe cappelle della navata sinistra sono, a partire dalla crociera, dedicate rispettivamente ai: Ss. Carlo Borromeo, Ambrogio e Bernardino da Siena (Università degli Scarpinelli, Ciabattini) Altare: Vergine col Bambino e Santi del Baglione (1640 -41.- opera firmata e datata). Pareti: scene della vita dei Santi Ambrogio e Carlo sempre del Baglione.

S. Giovanni Battista (Università dei Compagni e Giovani dei Pizzicaroli) - Architettura di G. Valvassori (1750). Altare: Battesimo di Gesù, del Giaquinto (1750). Pareti: Predica e decollazione del Precursore, di G. Ranucci (1779). Restauri 1970 - 71

At the end of the fifties of last century, a series of thoughtless interventions realised in the closeness of the church finished to change heavily the solid original static order of the construction. Particularly, the big excavation along the external perimetre of the construction for the extension of the rear property of state monopolies determined a series of lesions and instabilities that invested the whole church, the building structures up to the vaults and to the rich decorative apparatus.

The Archbrotherhood - owner of the sacred building but undressed of the own substantial property in consequence of the government confiscation succedute after 1870 - to solve these heavy and urgent problems applied to the Ministry for the Cultural Properties that, with own financing and through the Supervision for the Environmental and Architectural Properties of Rome, from 1984 carried out a series of interventions of consolidation and restoration that have avoided the heaviest risks for the monument and also give back in part his shining original image to the church. The realised works – saved from certain destruction the whole building - have also allowed the reopening of the church to the cult, moreover to the numerous visitors and tourists.

At present, it is still necessary to complete the work started for the total recovery of the church.