Chiesa di S. Marcello (Book 7) (Map B2) (Day 1) (View C7) (Rione Trevi)
This is one of many plates covering Via del Corso. Also at Vasi's
time it was a shopping area for the rich and the foreigner. In my background
you can see potential customers looking at some plates (maybe Piranesi's ones, because the bookshop - Bouchard & Gravier - was
the publisher of that artist's works. Vasi lived and sold his prints in an apartment in Palazzo Farnese). The view is taken from the green dot in the 1748 map below.
In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Palazzo Mellini; 2) Part of the Monastery; 3) Palazzo Decarolis. 3) is shown in another page. The small map shows also 4) S. Marcello; 5) Oratorio del SS. Crocifisso;
6) Palazzo Alli Maccarani; 7) Palazzo Maccarani.
The church and the adjoining monastery do not show any significant change: but to take a picture of Via del Corso without a car I had to wait until the middle of August.
The façade of the church is by Carlo Fontana and it is considered his masterpiece. It was completed in 1708. The coat of arms is of the Ludovisi Boncompagni (Gregorius XIII Boncompagni and Gregorius XV Ludovisi) who had their town palace opposite the church. You may wish to see the fine Monuments to Giovanni Andrea Giuseppe Muti and Maria Colomba Vincentini Muti by Bernardino Cametti or the Monuments to cardinals Fabrizio and Camillo Paolucci by Pietro Bracci and Tommaso Righi or the busts of Muzio, Roberto and Lello Frangipane by Alessandro Algardi. The fine central relief is a work by Antonio Raggi: it shows San Filippo Benizzi in the act of refusing the tiara (an event which occurred in the XIIIth century).
Palazzo Mellini was a very new building when Vasi engraved this view of Rome. It was built in 1741-1754 by Tommaso De Marchis who embellished it with nice windows which represent a summary of baroque motifs.
The oratory was built in 1568 by Giacomo della Porta for Confraternita del SS. Crocifisso, a brotherhood named after a miraculous crucifix still existing in S. Marcello. The members of the brotherhood belonged to rich families. Cardinals Ranuccio and Alessandro Farnese were both members of the brotherhood and gave financial support to the erection and decoration of the oratory. The prayers were accompanied by music and the semi-dramatic musical composition known as oratorio was developed in this oratory by Emilio de' Cavalieri and Giacomo Carissimi.
Two small XVIIth century palaces are named after a prominent Roman family, the Maccarani, who also owned a
palace opposite Chiesa di S. Eustachio. Palazzo Alli Maccarani (image on the left)
has an interesting portal with a relief of Medusa a Gorgon with snakes for hair. A similar relief by Alessandro Algardi can be seen in the page
covering S. Maria Maggiore.
Go to or to Book 7 or to my Home Page on Baroque Rome or to my Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller.