Today it is hard to believe that the 17th century church of Sant' Andrea delle Fratte
once stood in the middle of the woods (fratte). And yet for centuries this part of Rome was open countryside.
In Art History circles, Sant' Andrea delle Fratte's main claim to fame is that it is home to two sculptures by the great Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), who actually lived in a house opposite the church.
The Angel with the Crown of Thorns and the Angel with the Titulus were originally intended for Ponte Sant' Angelo, but Pope Clement IX (r. 1667-69) thought them too valuable to be left exposed to the elements and they ended up here. The two statues were later replaced on the bridge with copies.
Francesco Borromini (1599-1667), Bernini's arch-rival in the field of architecture, created the church's curious but arresting campanile.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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