Blessed Ludovica Albertoni by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
The Cappella Altieri, which occupies the left transept of the church of San Francesco a Ripa, is home to the sculpture of Blessed Ludovica Albertoni (1671-74), a later work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680).
Ludovica Albertoni (1473-1533) was a Roman noblewoman, who, following the death of her husband in 1503, joined the Third Order of St Francis and devoted herself to caring for the poor. She became widely known for her religious ecstasies.
Ludovica Albertoni was beatified by Pope Clement X (r. 1670-76) in 1671, the year in which Bernini began work on the sculpture.
The sculpture, and the niche designed for its display, in the Cappella Altieri Albertoni, was created by Bernini on commission from Cardinal Paluzzi degli Albertoni Altieri. The cardinal, a nephew of Pope Clement X, was descended from Ludovica Albertoni.
The chapel is dedicated to St Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, and the altarpiece depicts the Virgin and Child with St Anne. It is the work of Giovanni Battista Gaulli, better known as il Baciccia (1639-1709).