About This Print
The unassuming Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini is probably well known to many have been to Rome. It’s the church with the famous bone crypt. That crypt decorated with the bones of Capuchin monks is said to have inspired many similar ossuaries in Europe. And it’s a strangely artistic use of the mortal remains of so many anonymous monks from the passing centuries since the Capuchin monks built their church.
I visited the church of the Capuchin Monks on a cold winter day in January several years ago. I was the only tourist inside the 17th century church that morning, a unique if eerie opportunity to wander in the bone crypt on my lonesome. The church itself, though, is the subject of this Rome print. There was something about the simple architecture that spoke to me. I loved that it felt like it reflected a side of Rome beyond the elaborate baroque of so many of the well-known churches of Rome. Ironically as near as I can find, the church is actually of the baroque period. Apparently the Capuchin Monks being an order devoted to poverty have one of the simplest baroque churches you’re likely to find. And if you look closely you do see some small baroque touches here and there.
This print is based on a photo I took after my visit to the bone crypt. As I prepared to leave, the bright sun-soaked facade of the Capuchin Monks church called to me. It was such a simple but beautiful moment on the streets of Rome. Check out the handful of people waiting for a bus at the foot of the church steps. This print just has a very everyday Roman winter feel to it. Clear skies but the bare tree limbs reaching into the blue show it is clearly winter.
And to think beneath this beautiful sunny day is a strangely-fascinating crypt. I think that’s what speaks to me about old European cities. There’s so much history in those streets that the surface never tells the whole story. There’s a magic to that mystery in Rome.
Have you visited the church of the Capuchin Monks in Rome? Or does this print simply speak to you of the beautiful light on a winter day in Rome? I hope you might take a moment to share your thoughts on what speaks to you most in this Rome print!