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Duomo: Cappella della SS Icone

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Apse Frescoes     Cappella della SS Icone    Cappella delle Reliquie

This chapel was built to the right of the apse, on the site of the old sacristy, and extended into adjacent land that had been bought in 1615.  Andrea Mauri, the Prefect General of Post and Customs, commissioned it to a design by Giovanni Battista Mola.  Mola had been appointed as Architetto della Camera Apostolica in 1616, a fact that illustrates Mauri’s close relations with Pope Paul V and the Borghese family. 

The design of the chapel was probably inspired by that of the Borghese Chapel of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, which Paul V built in 1606-12 to house the icon of the Salus Populi Romani, an image of the Madonna and Child said to have been painted by St Luke.  This suggests that the new chapel was always intended to house the SS Icone, although Bishop Cesare Facchinetti did not translate this icon of the Virgin from what is now the Cappella delle Reliquie until 1668.  

Portrait busts (ca. 1626)

These marble portraits (one on each side wall) depict Andrea Mauri and his wife, Livia Zucconi, leaning on parapets and looking towards the altar (see also the illustration above).

David and Solomon (ca. 1626)

These marble figures on the altar flank the sacred icon on the altar.  The figure of David is based on one by Nicholas Cordier in the Borghese Chapel of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome.

Annunciation and Assumption of the Virgin (ca. 1626)

These small panels above the statues of Solomon and David are by Giuseppe Cesari, il Cavalier d’ Arpino.   They are now almost illegible.  (This artist had also worked in the Borghese Chapel of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome).

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