Friday, June 19, 2009

The Bones of Santa Maria del Popolo Cathedral

The recent release of the movie, "Angels and Demons," based upon the novel of the same name by Dan Brown is sure to up the popularity of all the sites in Rome where the plot of this story revolves. One of these sites is the cathedral of Santa Maria del Popolo.

I'm going to be lazy today and not lay out the history of this church for you which includes such things as Nero's ghost and demons in the form of crows. A Google search will yield much information. But what I would like to share with you are a few photos I took there which add to the evidence that this place is rather bizarre. The draped skeleton pictured above is in this church.

Actually, it might be no. 1 or pretty close to the top of the list of cathedral repositories of Renaissance art in the whole city of Rome, yet I found an unusual emphasis on bones there and especially crossbones. The pictures that follow are illustrations of this point:

Even the statue of Christ at the altar is skin and bones:

I haven't seen the movie as yet but have read the book and visited most all of the places it talks about. Dan Brown certainly knows how to blend history with fiction into an entertaining tale of intrigue.