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Rome Reports

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The building Catholic Monarchs built where St. Peter was crucified

This building is not only the first jewel of the Renaissance. Donato Bramante built this temple in what is now the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome, commissioned by the Catholic Monarchs. They wanted to commemorate the place where tradition has it that St. Peter was martyred.

Director, Artistic residency program

"This year, on the 1950 anniversary of his martyrdom, we thought it was a fundamental element to display, so people saw it as something still alive. It is not a forgotten thing that nobody shows, but something present that continues to interest contemporary and avant-garde artists."

Bramante's temple is considered the best example of classical Renaissance for its purity of lines and its austerity. That simplicity now contrasts with the avant-garde works that surround it.

In this intermingling of traditions is the triptych, prepared by Spanish artist, Santiago Ydáñez, for the Spanish Academy in Rome. Through a non-finite technique, his three paintings emphasize the vertigo of martyrdom and provide a more cinematic character on the scene.

Director, Artistic residency program

"One is a sketch. Another is half-finished. It isn't until the last one we see the completion of the painting. It has united design and color, and has given them the same importance, precisely due to the influence of Caravaggio and Ribera. He wanted to materialize it in this way.”

In fact, Ydáñez based his work on the picture of the martyrdom of St. Peter by Caravaggio. He saw it during his nine-month stay in the Eternal City, thanks to scholarships the Academy gives to about 20 artists every year.