Close

This site uses cookies. You can read how we use them in our Privacy Policy.

Loading
News
4 Dicembre 2018 - ore 21
Concerto in onore di S. Barbara
>>follow...
The Basilica
Watch the video that documenting the discovery of the organ that led to the restoration of the entire basilica, video produced for the exhibition at Palazzo Te in 1997
The Basilica di Santa Barbara

in Mantua

The Palatine church of Santa Barbara, the Palace Chapel for the Gonzagas, was commissioned with a bell-tower by Duke Guglielmo and built between 1562 and 1572 to the designs of Giovan Battista Bertani.

The façade has three arches, surmounted by a frontispiece, leading to the vestibule, above which is the choir.

The aisle-less church has a number of side chapels and two large square lanterns, one at the centre, the other above the main altar, accessed by a semicircular staircase. Dominating the choir is the Martyrdom of Saint Barbara, the huge alter-piece in an ornate frame painted by Domenico Brusasorci and designed by Bertani. The upper lunette which can be seen today is the eighteenth century replacement by Pietro Fabbri of the fascinating original, kept with other treasures of the Church. To one side of the main altar a door leads to the crypt, with three aisles and elliptically shaped sacellum.

The alter-pieces of the two large side altars are by Lorenzo Costa the younger based on an idea by Bertani (on the right the Baptism of Constantine, on the left the Martyrdom of Saint Adrian). The figures painted on both sides of the organ casing (Saint Barbara and Saint Peter on one side, the Annunciation on the other) are thought to be by Fermo Ghisoni. Other paintings in the style of Giulio Romano can be found on the smaller alters: on the right, Saint Peter receiving the keys, by Luigi Costa and Santa Margherita by Giambattista Giacarelli; on the left The Baptism of Christ by Teodoro Ghisi and La Maddalena by Andreasino. The four oval paintings are by Pietro Fabbri (Santa Lucia and Santa Caterina) and Amadio Enz (Sant’Anna with child Mary), and an unknown seventeenth century artist (Sant’Antonio with baby Jesus). A small secluded chapel on the left has an eighteenth century painting by Bazzani (Madonna and Saints).

The raised presbytery is closed off by an eighteenth century railing; the finely sculpted choir stalls are late seventeenth century and came from the demolished San Domenico Church. The statues, in a variety of materials, are seventeenth century. The large lamp in front of the main alter was commissioned by Duke Vincenzo I.

A fitting church for Duke Gonzaga with rich decorations (tapestry cartoons by Raffaello, left by Cardinal Ercole to Guglielmo and donated by him to the Church), in which the divine is shown in sumptuous solemnity. A church “that sounds”, not only from the music chapel which was soon added but because of the numerous places from the music can originate. The church is different from all others because of Guglielmo’s wish to honour God and to show himself as a true gentleman, perhaps the gentleman of his era; and those who worked on the church and for the religious and cultural life of Mantova were able to enshrine these wishes in the Basilica di Santa Barbara.

 
mv creation
credits | legals
Stemma Gonzaga
Basilica Palatina di Santa Barbara - Mantova
Piazza Santa Barbara, 4 - I - 46100 - Mantova - ITALY - www.antegnatisantabarbara.it - santabarbara@diocesidimantova.it