Chiara Paniccia

«Hic est papa Gregorius». Patronage and ideology in the Chapel of San Gregorio at the Sacro Speco in Subiaco

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The chapel dedicated to Saint Gregory in San Benedetto in Subiaco, between March and July 1228, is enriched with a painted iconographic program in which particular relevance, in addition to the "rst preserved image of Francis of Assisi, is assigned to the representation of Gregory IX represented not as a ponti| but as a cardinal. In the fresco the cardinal is portrayed in the act of consecrating the altar of the chapel. Behind him is the monk Lando, cruciferous chaplain; between the cardinal and the monk there is the image of Francis of Assisi whose head seems to be the continuation of the cardinal&s body; the face of the latter is instead inclined for the rite of blessing: a body, two heads (Francesco and the cardinal) between which the processional cross of Lando is gra"ed. Who is the client of the chapel of San Gregorio al Sacro Speco? What is the signi"cance of the depiction of Pope Gregory IX, combined with that of Francis of Assisi in the consecration image of the chapel?

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