The fresco of the Virgin Mary in Heaven (c. 1663), which adorns the gilded vault of the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, is the work of Giovanni Domenico Cerrini (1609-81).
The fresco, which also depicts the casting out from heaven of the fallen angels, is an allegory of the victory of the Catholic forces over the Protestants at the Battle of White Mountain, which took place near Prague on November 8th 1620.
The chaplain of the Catholic forces had carried an image of the Nativity and this was later brought back to Rome and placed in the church, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in gratitude for their victory, hence its name Santa Maria della Vittoria.
The striking stucco putti and angels were added in the early 18th century.
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
small-group walking tours
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