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Santa Maria della Vittoria

Santa Maria della Vittoria (24)

It is said that at the Battle of White Mountain, in 1620, an image of the Virgin gave rise to the triumph of the Catholic army over the Protestants. As an act of gratitude for this victory, this church was dedicated to Mary, having originally been consecrated to Saint Paul. The image of the Virgin that can be seen over the altar is a copy of the one found near the scene of the battle. 

The interior decoration of this church is the maximum expression of Baroque opulence. Nevertheless, if you have a rather tight schedule, this will not be one of the essential trips in the city, since neither its façade nor interior are anything particularly special. 

The only interest that this church possesses is the presence in the Chapel of Cornaro of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, one of the most ambitious sculptural works by Bernini. This work is a magnificent example of Bernini’s ability to capture the most dramatic moments. It is a work that will certainly amaze you. The saint appears over a cloud, with her mouth open, eyes closed and covered by a tunic.  At the same time, an angel with an arrow seems to be about to pierce her heart. There are also some bronze beams that frame and illuminate the scene. It deals with religious ecstasy, becoming erotic in the more modern versions. Moreover, if you look at the walls of the chapel, members of the Cornaro family appear sculpted in what appear to theatre boxes, as if they were looking down on the stage. 

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