Cloister of Bramante – Rome
Completed in 1504, the Chiostro del Bramante (Bramante’s Cloister) is an historic building, part of the monumental complex of Santa Maria della Pace. It was the first building completed by the great Renaissance architect Donato Bramante (1444 – 1514) in the city of Rome.
The church of Santa Maria della Pace (on the right) in the 17th century; etching by Giovanni Battista Falda
As mentioned, the cloister is annexed to the church of Santa Maria della Pace, built at the end of the 15th century by Pope Sixtus IV (the facade was designed by Pietro da Cortona in the mid-17th century). The cloister, designed by Donato Bramante, on a commission by cardinal Oliviero Carafa, and completed in 1504, is widely considered one of the architectural masterpieces of Italian Renaissance.
The facade of the church of Santa Maria della Pace in Rome today; photo by nekotank
The Bramante’s Cloister in 1841 in an etching by Domenico Amici
What to see and do at the Bramante’s Cloister
In 1997, after major renovation works, the cloister was transformed into a multi-functional venue – managed by the company DART in collaboration with the Municipality of Rome and the regional council of Lazio – dedicated to cultural events, exhibitions, meetings, concerts, and educational activities, taking place in the rooms which surround the cloister on the ground and first floors.
Access to the cloister complex, the café, and the bookshop is free-of-charge and independent from special events on program.
above: From the exhibition, “Chagall. Love and Life”, Chiostro del Bramante, March 16 / July 26, 2015. Image courtesy of Chiostro del Bramante.
above: Exhibition “Love”, Chiostro del Bramante, September 29, 2016/ February 19, 2017 installation view. Photo via Arte.it
The Sibyls by Raphael
Not to be missed: the Sibyls fresco painted in 1514 by Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio, 1483 – 1520) inside the church of Santa Maria della Pace, is visible from the Sibille room, located at the first floor of the cloister; here, the visitors can also find an audio-visual exhibit which illustrates the artwork and its history.
The painting, which decorates the Cappella Chigi chapel, is divided into two parts: the Sibyls fresco in its lower portion and the Prophets fresco in the upper one; yet, the latter is considered a work only partially painted by Raphael.
Fresco paintings of Sibyls (bottom) and Prophets by Raphael (and others) in the Chigi Chapel, Church of Santa Maria della Pace, Rome
Cover image by Augusto Mia Battaglia