ST. ROCCO’S CHAPEL
Looking at the chapel of St. Rocco, the eighth on the left, the work that immediately strikes the eye is the canvas that represents the saint to whom the space is dedicated. The work is by Francesco Mazzola, better known as Parmigianino. The painter in 1527 was in Rome, from which he escaped from after the sack of the Lanzichenecchi, taking refuge in Bologna. Here the city’s manufacturers commissioned him an altarpiece to celebrate the end of the plague: St. Rocco in fact is the protector of plague victims.
According to Giorgio Vasari, Parmigianino cocretized, through the beauty of the subject, the relief of having freed himself from the plague. The man who is represented while he is on his knees, at the feet of the saint, could be the chapel’s patron, even if his identity has never been certain.
In the chapel there is also the statue of San Petronio, which was previously placed in front of the Two Towers, in Porta Ravegnana square. The representation of the patron saint of Bologna was placed before one of the symbols of the city in 1683, but was later removed in 1871 for viability reasons. Finally, in front of the chapel of St. Rocco, you can see the terracotta transenna, added in 1909 and composed of columns coming from the Basilica of St. Stefano.
Turn back to San Petronio Curiosities…