The Saint & the Origin of the Word 'Pants'
The church of San Pantaleo was designed by the Roman architect Giovann Antonio de' Rossi (1616-95) and built in 1681. Its facade was added by Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839) in 1807; the curious relief, which depicts liturgical and sacred items, is the work of Pietro Aurelj.
San Pantaleo has a single nave flanked by chapels. The nave vault sports a grand fresco of The Glory of the Name of Mary (1692), the work of Filippo Gherardi (1643-1704).
The church is dedicated to Saint Pantaleon, a fourth century martyr from Nicomedia. He was a popular saint in Venice, where he was known as San Pantaleone or San Pantalone. One of the principal characters in the Commedia dell'arte, an Italian theatrical form that flourished from the 16th to the 18th century, was named after him.
Pantalone, Shakespeare's 'lean and slippered Pantaloon' (As You Like It), was often portrayed wearing trousers rather than knee breeches. The trousers came to be known as pantaloons, which was later shortened to pants.
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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 and
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