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Guide to the Church of the Rosario parte I.

The restructuring work dating back to the 18th century was dictated by the wish to have a larger and brighter presbytery.

In 1722 it was decided to extend the presbytery and the work was commissioned to Alfonso Torreggiani. who also enlarged the side windows, while the ancon of the high altar is the work of Ferdinando Bibiena completed in 1727.

In this period the second chapel on the right, dedicated to Saint Joseph, was also constructed while two elegant confessionals were placed up against the inside wall of the facade.

Work continued into the following century when in 1834 the high altar was covered with a new structure in polychrome wood with a mix of mock-classical elements and twisted columns with a vague Gothic revival taste.

Chapel of Saint Joseph Church of the Rosario , Cento (FE)
Chapel of Saint Joseph

First chapel on the right.

The first chapel on the right as vou enter the church was built in 1635 by the chaplain of the Brotherhood Don Sigismondo Villani.

In 1644 it was relinquished to the Ridolfini family who dedicated it to Saint John the Baptist, commissioning Guercino to make the altarpiece which he completed in 1650. In 1839 having survived the Napoleonic requisitions, the painting depicting Saintjohn the Baptist in the Desert was moved to the just opened municipal picture gallery (Pinacoteca Civica) by will of the municipality of Cento

A reproduction by Antonio Guandalini (Cento?-Rome 1842). completed in 1840, was placed on the altar in place of the original.

Even though faithful in every detail, the work lacks the brightness of the original and the strong humanity which characterises the work by Guercino.

First Chapel on the right Church of the Rosario , Cento (FE)
First Chapel on the right

The ancon containing the painting is flanked by two columns in imitation marble standing on a high base with foliaceous spirals topped by Corinthian capitals.

It finishes in a split trabeation on whose upper volutes sit two angels, one of which holds up an arm in imitation of the Saints gesture.

In 1903 a gilded wood shrine was placed on the altar containing a reproduction of Our Lady of Grace, the original of which by the Neapolitan Filippo Colliri is housed in the Collegiate Basilica of Saint Blasius.

Saintjohn the Baptist in the Desert Church of the Rosario , Cento (FE)
Saintjohn the Baptist in the Desert

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