|An obligatory photo at the Mouth of Truth in Rome, Italy.
Wikipedia: La Bocca della Verità (in English, "the Mouth of Truth") is an image, carved from Pavonazzetto marble, of a man-like face, located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin
, Italy. The sculpture is thought to be part of a 1st century ancient Roman fountain, or perhaps a manhole cover, portraying one of several possible pagan gods, probably Oceanus. Most Romans believe that the 'Bocca' represents the ancient god of the river Tiber. The most famous characteristic of the Mouth, however, is its role as a lie detector. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with one's hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. The piece was placed in the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin in the 17th century.
The Mouth of Truth is known to English-speaking audiences mostly from its appearance in the 1953 film Roman Holiday. The film also uses the Mouth of Truth as a storytelling device since both Hepburn's and Peck's characters are not initially truthful with each other.
• Added to the gallery on Jan 3, 2012
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Inside the ancient church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy.
"The church of S. Maria in Cosmedin is one of the most admired and best known to foreigners of all Rome’s ancient churches. This is probably partly due to the fact that it was one of the first to have been restored to the simple dignity of its ancient origins, in 1894–99. The old name for the church, S. Maria in Schola Graeca
, reveals its origin. It was built in the sixth century to serve the Greek colony, whose numbers were later swollen by the arrival of refugees fleeing first from the Arab invasions and later from the iconoclasts. Schola
, as we will recall, meant an association or confraternity, which could be the members of a foreign colony as well as a guild of artisans. The church was built on the site of the Ara Maxima of Hercules
, reaching its present form and size in the amplification begun by Hadrian 1 in 782. Some of the columns of the ancient building are still to be seen in the church. Various interpretations have been put upon the word Cosmedin
, but it is now generally believed to derive from Kosmidion
, the name given by Greek refugees fleeing persecution in Byzantium, as the building recalled the church of the same name in Byzantium; this word in turn is related to the Greek kosmos
, meaning ornament, and the root of our word ‘cosmetic’. S. Maria was enlarged in the eighth century, from which period dates a marble mosaic of opus sectile
in front of the altar. The very fine cosmatesque pavement, choir and paschal candlestick are, however, of the twelfth century, the episcopal throne and beautiful altar canopy from the thirteenth, this last being executed in 1294 by Deodato, son of the famous Cosma. The portico, where the Bocca della Verità
stands, and the superb campanile, were built in the twelfth century." (Georgina Masson: The Companion Guide to Rome
, Woodbridge 2009).
• Added to the gallery on Mar 8, 2016
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Inside the 12th century church of San Nicola in Carcere on Via del Teatro di Marcello in Rome, Italy.
"San Nicola in Carcere is a church dedicated to St. Nicholas of Myra, the patron saint of sailors and of children and the remote cause of the phenomenon of Santa Claus. It is a minor basilica and a titular church, and is also the regional church for those from Puglia and Lucania living in Rome
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the church is that it incorporates the remains of three temples of the Republican era (2nd century BC) which used to stand in a row, side by side in the ancient Forum Holitorium with their entrances facing east. [...]
The nave has seven ancient columns in the arcades on either side, and as mentioned they are not a matching set. Most are Doric, but the four nearest the presbyterium are Ionic. The flat 19th century nave ceiling is coffered in large panels, and is richly decorated in blue and gold with rosettes and tendrils. The coat of arms of Pope Pius IX is displayed. The ceiling of the transverse presbyterium is higher.
The high altar has a baldacchino, and beneath it is an antique green serpentine bath containing the relics of martyrs. [...] There is a U-shaped sotteraneo in front of the altar, with a marble balustrade. The apse behind the altar has frescoes from the 19th century restoration, and are of 1865. On a fluted column near the door, you can see the 11th century dedicatory inscription." (Text from the Churches of Rome Wiki).
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The Contarelli Chapel in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, famous for its three paintings by Caravaggio.
Three paintings, commissioned by Cardinal Mathieu Cointrel in 1599, depict scenes from the life of St. Matthew: The Calling of St Matthew, The Inspiration of Saint Matthew and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew.
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• Added to the gallery on Mar 10, 2012
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