Tempio Malatestiano

Enlarge picture
Façade.
Enlarge picture
The main entrance. The Latin inscription over the portal says: Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta made.
The Tempio Malatestiano (Italian Malatesta Temple) is the cathedral church of Rimini, Italy. Officially entitled to St. Francis, it takes the popular name from Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, who commissioned its reconstruction to the famous Renaissance theorist and architect Leon Battista Alberti c. 1450.

History

San Francesco was originally a Gothic church belonging to the Franciscans. In the area was also a church called Santa Maria in Trivio ("Santa Maria of the Three Streets"), documented since the 9th century. The original church had a rectangular plan, without side chapels, with a single nave ending with three apses. The central one was probably frescoed by Giotto, to whom is also attributed the crucifix still visible today in the second right chapel.

Malatesta called on Alberti, as his first architectural work, to transform the building and make it into a kind of personal mausoleum for him and his lover and later wife, Isotta degli Atti. The execution of the project was handed over to the Veronese Matteo de' Pasti (died 1486), hired at the Estense court. Of Alberti's project, the dome, similar to those of the Pantheon of Rome and intended to be among the largest in Italy, was never built. Also the upper part of the façade, which was supposed to include a gable end, was never finished as Malatesta's fortunes declined steeply after his excommunication in 1460. The two blind arcades at the side of the entrance were to house the tombs of Sigismondo Pandolfo and Isotta, which instead are now in the interior.

Works for the renovation of the nave began some five years before those of the façade. Marble for the work was taken from the Roman ruins in Sant'Apollinare in Classe (near Ravenna) and Fano.

Overview

The church is immediately recognizable from its wide marble façade, decorated by sculptures probably made by Agostino di Duccio and Matteo de' Pasti. Alberti aspired to antiquity, though not directly to Pagan temples: as in the later Basilica di Sant'Andrea in Mantua, the façade is indeed modelled to the ancient triumphal archs, one of which is Rimini itself (see Arch of August). The large arcades on the sides are reminiscent of the Roman aqueducts.

The main portal has a triangular tympanum with geometrical decorations. In the interior, under the large arcades on the right side, are seven chapels with the tombs of illustrious Riminese citizens, including that of the philosopher Gemistus Pletho, whose remains were brought back by Sigismondo Pandolfo from his wars in the Balkans. The left side has no chapels (outside is a 16th century bell tower).

Immediately the right of the main door is Sigismondo Pandolfo's sepulchre. The next chapel is dedicated to St. Sigismund, patron of the soldiers (Sigismondo Pandolfo was a renowned condottiero), and has fine sculptures by Agostino di Duccio. There is also a fresco by Piero della Francesca portraying Malatesta kneeling before the saint (1451). The following chapel (Cappella degli Angeli) houses the tomb of Isotta and the Giotto crucifix, allegedly painted during his sojourn in Rimini of 1308-1312.

The next chapel is the Cappella dei Pianeti ("Chapel of the Planets"), dedicated to St. Jerome. The zodiacal figures are by Agostino di Duccio. It houses also an interesting panorama of Rimini as it was in 15th century. Then comes the Chapel of Liberal Arts, with di Duccio's portrayal of Philosophy, Rhetoric and Grammar. The subsequent Chapel of the Childhood Games houses the tombs of Sigismondo Pandolfo's first wives, Ginevra d'Este and Polissena Sforza, encircled by 61 figures of young angels playing and dancing, again by di Duccio.

The bodies of some Malatesta's ancestors are housed in the Cappella della Pietà, with 2 statues of prophets and 10 of Sibyls. The chapel, like numerous other places in the church, is characterized by the presence of the SI monogram (from the initial of Sigismondo and Isotta's names, or, according to others, the first two letters of the former) sporting a rose, an elephant and three heads.

Evaluation

Due to the strong presence of elements referring to the Malatesta's history, and to Sigismondo Pandolfo himself (in particular, his lover Isotta), the church was considered by some contemporaries to be an exaltation of Paganism. Pope Pius II, Sigismondo's deadliest enemy, declared it as "full of Pagan Gods and profane things"[1].

Sources

  • Cricco, Giorgio; Francesco P. Di Teodoro (1996). Itinerario nell'arte. Zanichelli. 

External links

Italian}}} 
Official status
Official language of:  European Union
 European Union
 Switzerland
 San Marino
Vatican City
Sovereign Military Order of Malta

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The House of Malatesta was an Italian family that ruled over Rimini from 1295 until 1500.

Malatesta da Verucchio (d. 1312), a Guelph leader, became podestà (chief magistrate) of Rimini in 1239 and made himself sole master of the city after the expulsion of the
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cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop. It is a religious building for worship, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and some Lutheran churches, which serves as a bishop's seat, and
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Country Italy
Region Emilia-Romagna
Province Rimini (RN)
Mayor Alberto Ravaioli

Area km
Population
 - Total (as of June 30, 2007)
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Time zone CET, UTC+1
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Anthem
Il Canto degli Italiani
(also known as Fratelli d'Italia)


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St. Francis may be:
  • St. Francis of Assisi (September 26, 1181 – October 3, 1226)
  • St. Francis of Paola (1416 – April 2, 1507)
  • St. Francis Xavier (April 7, 1506 - December 2, 1552)
  • St. Francis Borgia (October 28, 1510 - September 30, 1572)
  • St.

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Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (June 19, 1417 – October 7, 1468), popularly known as the Wolf of Rimini, was a famous member of the Italian House of Malatesta and lord of Rimini, Fano, and Cesena from 1432.
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Leon Battista Alberti (February 14, 1404 – April 25, 1472) was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, linguist, philosopher, and cryptographer, and general Renaissance humanist polymath. In Italy, his first name is usually spelled "Leon".
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Gothic architecture is a style of architecture which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. It was preceded by Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture.
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Franciscan is used to refer to those in Roman Catholic and Anglican religious orders which follow a body of regulations known as "The rule of St. Francis" ,[1] or a member of one of these orders. There are also small Old Catholic and Protestant Franciscan communities.
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Giotto

Statue of Giotto di Bondone, close to the Uffizi.
Birth name Giotto di Bondone
c. 1267
near Florence, Italy
January 8, 1337 (Aged about 70)
Florence, Italy
Italian
Field Painting, Fresco

Gothic
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Country Italy
Region Veneto
Province Verona (VR)
Mayor Flavio Tosi

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House of Este is a European princely dynasty. It is split into two branches: the elder branch is known as the House of Welf-Este or House of Welf, and the younger branch as the House of Fulc-Este or later simply as the House of Este.
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dome is a common structural element of architecture that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere.

Description

Domes do not have to be perfectly spherical in cross-section, however; a section through a dome may be an ellipse.
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The Pantheon (Latin Pantheon[1], from Greek Πάνθεον Pantheon, meaning "Temple of all the gods") is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state
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Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. The word literally means out of communion, or no longer in communion. In some churches, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group.
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Marble is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock resulting from the metamorphism of limestone, composed mostly of calcite (a crystalline form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3). It is extensively used for sculpture, as a building material, and in many other applications.
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Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe is an important monument of Byzantine art in Ravenna, Italy. When the UNESCO inscribed eight Ravenna sites on the World Heritage List, it cited this basilica as "an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and
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Country Italy
Region Emilia-Romagna
Province Ravenna (RA)
Mayor Fabrizio Matteucci

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Country Italy
Region Marche
Province Pesaro e Urbino (PU)
Mayor Stefano Aguzzi (since June 2004)

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Agostino di Duccio (1418 – c. 1481) was an Italian early Renaissance sculptor.

Born in Florence, he worked in Prato with Donatello and Michelozzo, who influenced him greatly.
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The Basilica di Sant'Andrea is a Renaissance church in Mantua, Lombardy (Italy).

Commissioned by Ludovico II Gonzaga, the church was begun in 1472 according to designs by Leon Battista Alberti on a site occupied by a Benedictine monastery, of which the bell tower (1414)
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Country Italy
Region Lombardy
Province Mantua (MN)
Mayor Fiorenza Brioni (since April 18, 2005)

Area km
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A triumphal arch is a structure in the shape of a monumental archway, in theory built to celebrate a victory in war, actually usually to celebrate a ruler. The classical triumphal arch is a free-standing structure, quite separate from city gates or walls, but the form is often used
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aqueduct is an artificial channel that is constructed to convey water from one location to another. The word is derived from the Latin aqua, "water," and ducere, "to lead.
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Sigismund (died 524) was king of the Burgundians from 516 to his death. He was the son of king Gundobad, whom he succeeded in 516. Sigismund and his brother Godomar were defeated in battle by Clovis' sons and Godomar fled.
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Condottieri (singular condottiere (in English) or condottiero (in Italian)) were mercenary leaders employed by Italian city-states from the late Middle Ages until the mid-sixteenth century. The word means "contractor" in renaissance Italian.
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Agostino di Duccio (1418 – c. 1481) was an Italian early Renaissance sculptor.

Born in Florence, he worked in Prato with Donatello and Michelozzo, who influenced him greatly.
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Piero della Francesca (c. 1412 – October 12, 1492) was an Italian artist of the Early Renaissance. To contemporaries, he was known as a mathematician and geometer as well as an artist, though now he is chiefly appreciated for his art.
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Jerome (ca. 347 – September 30, 420; Greek: Ευσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ιερώνυμος
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