Route: COURAGE FROM FAITH. THE SITES OF MARTYRDOM
Piazza della Repubblica www.santamariadegliangeliroma.it Every day. Monday-Saturday…
You are along the route: THE TWO MICHELANGELOS. BUONARROTI AND CARAVAGGIO
Piazza della Repubblica
Every day. Monday-Saturday 9:30-17:30. Sunday and bank holidays 13:00-17:30. Free entry.
The large complex of the Baths of Diocletian was still well preserved in its structure in the mid-sixteenth century. Pope Pius IV, with a bull of 1561, established that a church dedicated to Santa Maria degli Angeli should be built in the ancient Baths and commissioned the eighty-six year-old Michelangelo for the project: the great frigidarium of the baths was thus transformed into a church. The work of Michelangelo, however, was hidden and rendered unrecognizable by the eighteenth-century transformation. The unadorned monumentality of the tepidarium, which the artist had kept, was replaced by a vision of contained scenography of the late Baroque. The intention of the maestro was that the church should be inserted within the old structure without drawing any distinction as a unit by itself. It was his wish to preserve and enhance classical heritage in order to achieve new effects.