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The Lost


San Bernardino
San Gabriele
San Guglielmo
San Lazzaro
San Marco
San Maurelio
San Silvestro
San Vito

Sant'Agostino
Sant'Andrea
Sant'Anna

Santa Caterina da Siena
Santa Lucia
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Santa Maria del Buon Amore
Santa Maria della Concezione
Santa Maria della Rosa
Spirito Santo

All of the bird's-eye map views are from Bolzoni's plan of 1747, which lists 102 churches, just decades before the Napoleonic suppressions, of which 54 remain.
 

San Bernardino
Corso Giovecca


History

A church and monastery of Franciscan nuns who followed the rule of Santa Chiara (Poor Clares) was founded by Lucrezia Borgia in 1509, then the wife of Duke Alfonso d’Este, for her niece Camilla, the daughter of the Duke Valentino, and nuns who had formerly been in the convent of Corpus Domini.
Lucrezia wanted the abbess here to be her friend Laura Boiardo, daughter of the count of Scandiano Giulio Ascanio Boiardo and Cornelia Taddea Pio At the time Laura had been abbess of Corpus Domini. From 1543 to 1573 Camilla herself was abbess here.
Suppressed by Napoleon in 1798, the church and some of the monastery were demolished in 1823. Of the original complex only the west side of the first cloister remains, a row of arches, now the dermatology department of the Ospedale of Sant'Anna

Lost art
Lots by Garofalo, who painted here, Vasari tells us, every feast day for twenty years, unpaid -  The Marriage in Cana (from the refectory), The Allegory of Old and New Testaments, The Road to Calvary (Saint Veronica), and The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (painted for the refectory and depicting the abbess and sisters), all of c.1528/31, were bought by Nicholas I in 1840. The nuns had sold eight canvases to Pope Pius VI in 1792 and the Pope's nephew Count Pio Braschi sold them on.
All of the four sold to Nicholas are in the Hermitage collection, but the last one has been on loan to the Art Museum of Khabarovsk since 1931. They were brought together for a special exhibition at the Hermitage in 2008, the year after the The Allegory of Old and New Testaments was taken out of storage, unrolled and restored.
An Annunciation from 1528 (see right) is in the Musei Capitolini in Rome. The Immaculate Conception with Saints (see below) now in the Brera in Milan, a vary Franciscan subject, from between 1528 and 1536.
In 1531 Garofalo got married and went blind in one eye. Hoping to preserve his sight in the other eye, he vowed to God to continue working free of charge on his paintings for San Bernardino, and to forever after dress in grey.
Paolo Morando (called Cavazzola) painted an altarpiece for this church, the Pala delle Virtù. It's predella must have shown Saint Francis giving his rule to the three Franciscan orders - the Friars Minor, the Poor Clares and the Tertiaries. The first is missing but the other two are in the Castelvecchio in Verona and Budapest.

Also paintings by Scarsellino, Dosso Dossi, Bellino, Guercino and Bastarolo.


 

 

   


San Bernardino is number 15

 

 

 San Gabriele


History

West of San Benedetto. There was a convent here, outside Porta San Biagio, with a hospital, in the 14th century. It was refounded in 1489 by Duchess Eleonora as a Carmelite convent. Augustinian nuns being brought from Reggio and changing their profession. The new church, the building of which involved Biagio Rossetti, was completed on 15th March 1494. It was demolished in the 19th century.

San Gabriele is number 31
 

San Guglielmo
Via Palestro


History
A convent given to the Poor Clares in 1256 by Azzo Novello d'Este, having previously been occupied by Augustinian Eremitani. Tradition claims it was founded by Agnese, the sister of Saint Clare of Assisi. The church was consecrated  in 1354 and enlarged around 1369 by Nicolò  II d'Este when his niece Verde became a nun here. The high altar was consecrated on 27th April 1489, enshrining relics of Saint Bartholomew, the apostle, and Saints Stephen and William. Later major donors were the Costabili family, who also provided a Mother Superior. Members of the Rinaldi family were buried here.

Suppressed by Napoleon , the convent was closed in 1798 and became a barracks, of course. The nuns returned two years later but they left finally in 1801. Some art went into private collections, some was destroyed or has disappeared. Fresco fragments (in poor condition) were found in a room behind the church and removed in 1933, and others were found and removed in 1954 and 1961 after the partial
destruction of the complex by bombing during WWII, during the second bombing, on January 28, 1944, following years of neglect. The former convent is now a barracks and a car park.

San Guglielmo is number 40

Lost art
Early 15th-century frescoes of the life of Saint Francis, saints and scenes from the life of Christ by the school of Antonio Alberti (Antonio de Recchis) were detached in 1933 and, much damaged, are now in the Casa Romei, in a room to themselves. As is an earlier - mid-14th-century -  fresco of The Agony in the Garden found in a tympanum here and detached in 1961.
An early 16th century fresco fragment on a Crucifixion by a Bolognese artist is also in the Casa Romei, having been removed in 1954.
An Assumption by Lorenzo Costa from c.1489.
Works in the refectory included one by Cosmè Tura.
A Garofalo Sacra Conversazione panel depicting the Virgin & Child with Saints William of Aquitaine (Guglielmo in Italian), Clare, Anthony of Padua and Francis (see right) from 1517 in the National Gallery was commissioned for the high altar here by the sisters, helped by Antonio Costabili, who also commissioned Garofalo and Dosso Dossi to paint the huge altarpiece mentioned below for the church of Sant'Andrea, where he was to be buried . It is thought that Guglielmo di Malavalle, who became a hermit, was probably the original titular saint of this church as it had been founded by an order of hermits, but Garofalo’s patrons must have supposed that their Guglielmo was the Duke of Aquitaine, a warrior saint whose legends and sanctity have recently been contested anyway. The lunette-shape addition at the top was added in 1861 by Giuseppe Molteni in Milan, but it replaced an earlier addition, probably itself not original.
A Last Supper on canvas by Scarsellino from c.1605, painted for the refectory here, is in the Pinacoteca.

 

San Lazzaro

 

San Maurelio
Piazza Municipale


History
Originally an oratory of the Lateran Canons Regular of Saint Augustine, attached to a plague hospital in the suburbs, about two miles outside Ferrara, erected in the late 12th century with a joint dedication to God, the Virgin, Saint George, and Saint Lazarus.

Lost art
The San Lazzaro altarpiece by Ercole de'Roberti, possibly with Francesco del Cossa, painted for the renovated presbytery here, around 1475, was simultaneously Roberti's first important independent commission and the first unified sacra conversazione to be painted for a Ferrarese church. It showed the Virgin and Child enthroned with Saints Apollonia and Catherine of Alexandria in the upper tier with the Virgin, and Saints Augustine and Jerome at ground level, with their attributes, an eagle and a lion. David and Moses inhabited the spandrels and there were Old Testament scenes in two rows below the throne, featuring the Labours of Hercules.
The altarpiece  was destroyed in May 1945 in the fires in the Friedrichshain flak tower (Flakturm) where paintings from the the former Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum were being stored to protect them from bombing.  The Friedrichshain Flakturm was in the custody of the Russian army at the time. 434 paintings went missing due to unchecked looting at the time or were destroyed in the flames - there was a second fire following the two weeks of looting. Only one of the lost paintings has ever been found - a 16th century Lombard Virgin and Child was returned to the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin in 2012 by the son of the US officer who had purchased it in 1946. More here  And here

San Marco

History
Situated within the city walls by the Porta San Marco. Founded by the Countess Matilda in 1099 and the home of Augustinian canons until 1476 when Pope Sixtus IV acceded to duke Ercole and the Duchess Eleanora's request to transfer it to Benedictines. Demolished by Duke Alfonso in 1506, with permission from Pope Julius II, possibly for the expansion of the Duke's garden.
 

 


History
Built between 1476 and 1480 for Ercole I d'Este as the court chapel and as a gift to his wife Eleanor of Aragon. Later work and enlargement, the church remained important for the Este court, since their bodies lay there before their burial. It later lost its court function and in 1693 was dedicated to the 7th century Syrian Saint Maurelius who had long been one of Ferrara's patron saints, and given to the Unione dei Fratelli delle Anime del Purgatorio, who remained until 1893 when the church was closed. Later used as a warehouse, until 1917 when it became a cinema, later becoming the Sala Estense. All that remains of the church now is the 1693 portale (see right). The statues of Saints George and Maurelius are by Francesco Vidoni.

Lost art
A grey stone sculpture from 1408 of the Virgin and Child by Filippo di Domenico da Venezia was removed from the portal here in 1916 and is now in the Casa Romei.



San Maurelio is number 69
 

San Silvestro



History

A miracle of Saint Mauralius was to restore the sight of a blind girl, who then retired to pray in a small building on the site where this church was later built. A  Benedictine church and convent here was completed by 1520, replacing a complex for these nuns outside the city rebuilt in 1497 by Biagio Rossetti, which had been demolished by Duke Alfonso I in 1512 to make way for fortifications. An earthquake here in 1570 meant more rebuilding and fires in 1735 and 1804 caused more damage.  The Benedictine nuns remained until the Napoleonic suppressions in 1796. In 1799 they returned but the complex was abandoned in 1820 and later mostly demolished. The church survived into the early 20th century when the city hospital was built here, from 1910. Its main doorway went to Santo Stefano in 1825. The campanile was demolished in 1912.

Lost art
Four grisaille panels of Stories of Constantine and Sylvester by Garofolo and a large vertical Agony in the Garden altarpiece by him from c.1525-30 are in the Pinacoteca. Also a Virgin and Child with Saints Sylvester, Jerome, John the Baptist and Maurelio from 1524 by him, which is now in the Duomo. Scarsellino is also mentioned.

San Silvestro is number 91



A postcard from 1902


 

San Vito

 

Sant'Agostino


History

A convent for Augustinian nuns dating from 1234 next to the Palazzo Schifanoia. Work on the convent in 1502. Later used as a barracks and demolished in the 1960s.

Lost art
The Crucifixion with the Virgin, St. Mary Magdalene, St. John the Evangelist and St. Vitus of 1522 by Garofolo was painted for this convent. It now lives in the Brera in Milan, but is currently (May 2024) on display in the Palazzo Costabili in Ferrara under a very special Garofolo ceiling


San Vito is 102, the Palazzo Schifanoia is 192, to its left.
 

 



History

Founded as an Augustinian convent for nuns in 1425 by Alise, daughter of Giovanni di Gallo of Ferrara, and not to be  confused with the later parish church in Corso Roma. This one was in the parish of Santa Maria in Vado, on the via delle Volte now the via Coperta. It was consecrated by the Bishop of Ferrara in 1441 and embellished by Ercole d'Este in 1496. It was suppressed under Napoleon in 1798 and demolished in 1813.

 

Sant'Andrea
Via Camposabbionario


History

Existing by 1070, the church here belonged to the cathedral until 1256 when it passed to  the Eremitani order of Augustinians who enlarged it, with reconsecration by Pope Eugene IV in 1438. Rebuilding followed from the 1490s (funded by Borso d'Este and the Duchess Eleonora) and in the 16th century, when the building reached its final configuration of a nave and two aisles. The aisles contained nine semicircular chapels each side, while flanking the apse were two smaller chapels. The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament was built in 1627 by Giovan Battista Aleotti, and he was buried in it.
The Augustians were forced to leave in 1796 by the Napoleonic suppressions, although the church continued in parish use until 1806. Around 1806 the cloisters were demolished, following use as a barracks, which use continued into the late 19th century by Italian soldiers, and then to store provisions.
In 1886 the church was closed, and the art removed. The roof collapsed in 1938, after a century of neglect, worse followed with severe damage from bombing in 1944. Demolition was planned and following the collapse of the right side the church's remaining left aisle was demolished from 1965-69 to build the Dante Alighiri secondary school. A small earthquake in 1967 caused the collapse of the apse wall and the campanile was subsequently demolished. Ruins of the right side are all that remain.
The sad and shameful loss of this so-important church is hard to forgive, or equal elsewhere.

Buried here
The ducal architect and engineer Biagio Rossetti (at the foot of the third pillar in the left aisle), A plaque was commissioned in 1993 (see right). Also Alberto Schiatti (who built San Paolo), Giovan Battista Aleotti (who built a chapel here), and Giuseppe Mazzuoli (Bastarolo) the Ferrarese Mannerist painter.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
The huge, damaged Allegory of Saint Augustine and The Martyrdom of Saint Dorothy damaged frescos of c.1378 by Serafino de' Serafini from Modena are in the Pinacoteca. They were in the chapel dedicated to Saint Dorothy here, and rediscovered under plaster in 1871. After poor attempts at restoration, removal and transfer to canvas they came to the Pinacoteca in 1908. There's also a detailed
19th-century watercolour by Girolamo Domenichini there, which shows the loses suffered during the restoration.
Fresco fragments of Saint Christopher and Saint Sebastian from c.1450-60 by a Ferrarese master, and follower of Piero della Francesca, in the Pinacoteca since 1906.
A Saint Andrew panel by Domenico Panetti from c.1500, from a side altar here dedicated to the saint. It has what looks like water (rain?) damage along the top. Also four panels, of Saints Andrew and Augustine and an Annunciation pair, also by him from 1510 for the organ case.
The Old and New Testament (aka
The Triumph of Christianity over Judaism) by Garofalo - a large fresco from the refectory here from 1523, removed in 1841 and acquired by the Pinacoteca in 1846. It was commissioned by Antonio Costabili (visible in the baptism scene at bottom left) who also commissioned the famous altarpiece (see below).
Also
a small panel of The Mass of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino from a series of the Saint's miracles in the Muzzarelli chapel here, by Garofalo and in the Pinacoteca since 1846.
The famous and huge high altarpiece The Costabili Polyptych of 1513 (see right), commissioned by Antonio Costabili from Dosso Dossi and Garofalo and in the Pinacoteca since 1846. Costabili held communal and ducal office, involving military and diplomatic activities, during the reigns of Ercole I and Alfonso I d’Este and acquired patronage rights to the chancel and high altar here in the 1490s. His family palazzo (later nicknamed Palazzo Ludovico il Moro) was nearby.
The altarpiece is both a progression from the 15th-century tradition of Ercole de' Roberti and backward-looking in its multi-panelled polyptych format, possibly adopted to accentuate its monumentality. The central panel is a very Bellini-esque Virgin and Child Enthroned, with the young John the Baptist and Saints, flanked by panels depicting Saints Sebastian and George, with Ambrose and Augustine in the Spandrels. The pinnacle is a Resurrected Christ. The saints in the central sacra conversazione panel include Andrew on the left and Jerome on the right with John the Evangelist on the steps between them. Further back and murky are Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Virgin, on the right, and Elizabeth and Zachariah, the parents of John the Baptist, on the left. But these identifications are contested and a couple more of the saints are non identificanti.
The Assumption of Mary Magdalene (the weird one with the large rabbit and the wingless acrobat putti) by the Master of the Magdalene's Assumption, from c.1505.

A well-muscled Guardian Angel from c.1625  by Carlo Bononi in the Pinacoteca since 1863.
Saint Lucy adored by two members of the Sonzoni family by a Ferrarese master of the early 16th century from the third chapel on the left here.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Giulio Cromer.
The Madonna di Reggio by Camillo Ricci in the Pinacoteca since 1869
An Annunciation and an Immaculate Conception and the Glory of Paradise, both by Scarsellino and in the Pinacoteca since 1869

Lost art in the Casa Romei
A 16th-century marble sculpture of
Saint Nicholas of Tolentino attributed to Alfonso Lombardi, was originally in a chapel dedicated to the saint here. A quite camp early 18th century marble San Michele Arcangelo by Andrea Ferreri and other parts of funeral monuments.
Nine fragments of anonymous frescoes, including an Announcing Angel and a Virgin of the Annunciation from the triumphal arch, from the 13th century, and four figures of saints and a nun from the apse and nave from the 16th century. Detached 1943-50.
The 1498 monument of Tomasina Gruamonti Estense, the widow of Azzo X d'Este was originally under the fifth arch on the right in this church. It is the work of Alvise Lamberti da Montagnana, a pupil of Mauro Codussi who later worked in Moscow. It was first moved to the Certosa cemetery and then to the Casa Romei in 1952.
Also a monument to Marquise Lucrezia Muzzarelli Brusantini, who died in 1679. A marble Archangel Michael sculpted by Andrea Ferreri between 1720 and 1735.

Lost art elsewhere
The choir stalls, with inlay work attributed to Pier Antonio degli Abbati, are now in San Cristoforo alla Certosa. Memorial slabs were moved to the cloister of Santa Maria inVado.

Lost art
In 1497 Fino Marsigli was commissioned to fresco the chancel.














 




 


Sant'Andrea is number 7 middle-right, the Pal Schifanoia 192 top left.
 

 









An early 20th century photograph

Sant'Anna

History
The hospital was built in 1445 and remained here until 1930, when the new hospital was built further up Corso Giovecca. The church was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1570, was suppressed in 1808 and demolished in 1824. The hospital is famous for having Torquato Tasso in residence from 1579 to 1586. The church's portal went to San Girolamo.

Lost art
A panel now in the Galleria Borghese in Rome depicting Saints Cosmas and Damian doing dentistry by Dosso Dossi from c.1520-22 was 'presumably' painted for the hospital/church here.
An altarpiece by Bastianino Virgin and Child and Saint Anne in Glory with Saints Cosmas and Damian from the church here.









 

Santa Caterina da Siena
Via Aria Nova


 


History
Built by Duke Ercole for Lucia Brocadelli from Narni who had received the stigmata in 1496, and who Ercole had smuggled, in a  laundry basket, at great expense, out of Viterbo in 1499. This at a time when nuns were a popular focus of princely devotion in, for example, Mantua, Milan and Perugia locally. Bandages stained with the blood of her stigmata were sought by the court of France. She initially stayed at the Casa Biancha where Santa Maria della Concezione was later built for other nuns from Viterbo. Duke Ercole laid the first stone for a new convent on 2nd June 1499 and initially called the Convent of the Sisters of the Annunciation but later, after Suor Lucia had a vision of Catherine of Siena, was changed to Santa Caterina da Siena. Built to the west of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the complex was in a fit state for Suor Lucia and her 22 third-order Dominican sisters to move in on 5th August 1501, but work continued for at least two more years. Records show this to be largest and most ambitious of Duke Ercole's religious enterprises. Two cloisters of two floors housed 46 cells for novices and 95 for the sisters.

118 choir stalls by Bartolomeo da Modena art by Fino - much work, including frescoes on outside walls and also inside the church with a Passion cycle - and Ettore Bonacossi. This much painted decoration may have been at Suor Lucia's request. Suor Lucia fell out of favour after Duke Ercole's death, being accused of  "excessive ascetic harshness" and kept locked in a cell, where she died 39 years later. But a series of frescoes of her life were commissioned after her death in 1542.  Her body was transferred to the cathedral, where it remained until 1935, when it was moved to the Cathedral of Narni. It has been said that Suor Lucia da Narni inspired the character of Lucy from the Narnia novels of CS Lewis. The convent was suppressed by Napoleon in 1796 and demolished in 1847.

Lost art
A copy of Lorenzo Costa's Strozzi Altarpiece, which he painted for the oratory of the confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin above the refectory in the church of San Francesco, was made by Carlo Bononi for this church c.1600-25. It is now in the Pinacoteca.
 

Santa Maria degli Angeli


History
Founded by Niccolò III d'Este for Observant Dominicans in 1437 and initially named SM di Belfiore after the Este villa nearby. Changed to SM degli Angeli in 1439 and consecrated in 1440 but the campanile built later by Borso d'Este. His father had been buried in San Francesco but Niccolò was buried here in 1441, his son Leonello in 1450, his third wife Rizzarda da Saluzzi in 1474 and then sons Ercole in 1505 and Sigismondo in 1507.
The church was damaged by Venetian troops during the war of Ferrara in 1483, who also removed an equestrian statue from from over the door. This equestrian image, of painted gesso and cloth on a wooden framework, of Niccolò III stood in this church by 1447, but was removed and destroyed during the Venetian sack. It may have been associated with Niccolò's tomb here, or may have been a votive offering. It inspired Niccolò's equestrian monument opposite the Cathedral. This damage, and the death of his duchess, prompted duke Ercole to rebuild the Capella Grande and add four adjoining chapels in 1494, work done by Biagio Rossetti. The creation of the Erculean Addition was encouraged by how easy it had been for Venetian forces to attack the edge of the city and sack the Belfiore palace, San Cristoforo and Santa Maria degli Angeli.
On March 4th 1501, according to Zamboni, Duke Ercole looking for locations for a larger church saw a comet land in the cemetery of the old church here and so resolved to build a new church, with the apse and crossing sited where the comet had landed. He laid the first stone six days later, on 10th March and the building of the larger church, unusually with ten chapels radiating from the main chapel. He would have seen it as a dynastic burial church and other important families, like the Bentivoglio, exiled from Bologna, were also buried here. This would have been the largest and most lavish of Ercole's church buildings, but it was never finished following Ercole's death and suffered partial collapse during the earthquake of 1570. The campanile was struck by lightning in 1604 during a Mass, destroying the high altar and its altarpiece of terracotta reliefs, and on Easter Sunday 1664 the vault collapsed onto the high altar. The monastery was suppressed in 1796, became stables, suffered a fire, and the site was purchased and cleared in 1913. A handsome building of the early 20th century on the site of the church, the Palazzina degli Angeli, at the end of the road to the Certosa, has a commemorative plaque.
 

 


Lost art
Three fragments of an altarpiece: Saint Mary of Egypt, some Landscape and Saint Jerome by an early 16th century painter from northern Italy were in the Mosti chapel here, but are now in the Pinacoteca.
 

Santa Maria del Buon Amore


History
Was a few fields east of Sant'Antonio in Polesine. Also known as the Oratory of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin of Good Love, the building was at the end of via Porta d'Amore and dated to the second half of the 16th century. It was built to preserve an image of the Madonna found during the construction of the same-named wall. Bastianino, Bastarolo and Scarsellino contributed. The cult was suspended during the First World War which led to the demolition of the church in 1924. The area where the  building once stood is now occupied by housing. The cult image went to Sant'Apollonia up the road.

 



 

Santa Maria della Concezione

   


History

An oratory dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, called Santa Maria della Casa Bianca, had stood here since 1466, at the wall end of what is now via Cisterna del Follo. When Suor Lucia da Narni was brought to Ferrara (see
Santa Caterina da Siena above) on May 7 1499 she stayed here for a few weeks and Duke Ercole ordered some work in preparation. He then decided to build a new convent here, entrusting the work to Antenore da Bondeno and laying the first stone himself on May 30 1502. A new church was built here by Ercole II but neither church nor convent survive.  by

Lost art
Fragments of frescoes by Baldassarre Estense, Nicolo Pisano and (maybe) Michele Coltellini, from c.1499/1501 are in the Pinacoteca.

Santa Maria della Rosa

History

The name comes from roxa, a word for a canal. There was a small church called Santa Maria del Guazzadore, with a hospital attached, outside the city walls, on the left after leaving by the Porta de' Leoni. It was so named for a nearby shallow watering place for horses and such. In 1466 the complex was occupied by Augustinians who had been living in Santa Maria della Misericordia outside Porta San Giorgio. They were described by Giovanni Battista Guarini (the writer of Il pastor fido) in his 1621 book about the churches of Ferrara as 'Ermitani of the Congregation of the Peter of Pisa, observants of the rule of Saint Jerome, now called amongst us as of the Rose'. Work by Duke Ercole involving the roofing and flooring of the crossing and the building of three chapels. Rebuilt in the early 17th century, bombed in September 1944 (see left) and demolished in 1950. Part of an earlier cloister was reconstructed, however, and can be seen on the north side of via Cavour, the road which replaced the canal in the map view below. which fed the Castello's moat, just to the right out of frame.

Lost art
The Lamentation group of polychromed terracotta statues by Guido Mazzoni was originally here (see 1901 postcard below), from 1485 until it was moved to the Gesù in 1938.

Spirito Santo
History
Not to be confused with Santo Spirito. Built between 1616 and 1625 then deconsecrated and used as a warehouse. In 1839 its portal was put on the façade of Sant'Apollonia.
 


 



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