Deciding to explore early morning to beat the heat and a small breeze for made me hopeful. (Ahh, we gotta love the forever hopefuls and terminally optimistics) I ventured (as in adventure) to the Castel Sant Angelo and a plan to walk in the park with promised fountains and monuments. Castel Sant’Angelo Construction 130-139 dC.1447-1527 originally as the Mausoleum of Roman Emperor Hadrian, and then later used by popes as a fortress and castle, and currently a museum. I made it to Castel Sant Angelo and got lost again. I finally found the park around 5 pm and had down two liters of water throughout the day. Now, I am exhausted from the heat and steps I had made. I will say that I saw many sites that were not on the agenda…lol. I did decide that an eSIM for the phone was needed, and maps were passé. Click on either photo for more information if desired on Castel Sant Angelo.
I did find a treasure at the Castel. A portrait of Beatrice Cenci painted by Guido Reni (Bologna 1575 - 1642; 1650; oil on canvas; 64,5 x 49 cm) I was caught by surprise and never seen it before. It is so tender and masterly executed and its beauty touched me. And, it felt familiar and reminded me of another. YES! A Girl with a Pearl Earring. (link) by Vermeer the Dutch artist who was of a different decade. NOW, I am intrigued and I research. I discover, even today, Beatrice inspires and arouses public sympathy, and human rights supporters. She has also become the subject of poems, dramas, and novels. It is said that Caravaggio was present among the witnesses of her and her family’s beheading, and inspired his painting from the biblical the Book of Judith and her beheading of Holofernes (click Judith for a link for THAT story) Beatrice inspired a multitude of artists, writers, and play writers. Walpole, Shelley, Swinburne, Hawthorne, Melville, Dickens, and Wharton. Did Vermeer see Reni's Beatrice Cenci portrait? I am suspecting he did.
Her story is of a young woman 22 years old, who was beheaded in Rome in 1599 and immortalized by this portrait. She beckons us to look directly at her. Her gaze is soulful filled with her accepted and desperate fate and ingrown hopelessness for living years of abduction in the La Petrella castle in Aquila. Her father, Nobleman Francesco Cenci of great wealth and influence was a dissolute man and known to all as vicious and violent. He imprisoned his second wife, Lucrezia, with Beatrice, and her brothers treating them with brutality. The Count was known to commit rape, incest, and murder, and got away with it on payment of regular large amounts to Pope Clement. Beatrice tried various attempts to escape to gain her freedom.
Beatrice supported by her brothers’ and her stepmother had decided to murder him. They succeeded but failed to make it look like an accident when they drugged, pummeled him to death, and threw him off the balcony. Through torture, her brothers Lucrezia, Giacomo, Bernardo, and stepmother confessed and were condemned to death by the Vatican, and all executed, except Bernardo who was granted a pardon from death because of his youth. Great efforts were made to obtain mercy for the accused, but Pope Clement refused to grant pardon. Bernardo was forced to watch the beheading of his family and then he was jailed. The Cenci property was confiscated by the church, and this, it was rumored, was the pope’s object in destroying them. So, I guess that was Count Cenci's biggest and last payment.
Hawthorne’s works do, although both see her as an omen predicting the failure of America to achieve its https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Beatrice-Cenci-in-Hawthorne%2C-Melville-and-her-Hoeveler/f4b14524cf7a8d495bbc3bb968b7d3b4586f82c1
Whew… I was lost and found today and it was inspiring. Another long long LONG cool shower, nap till 8, and then dinner late as the Romans do. Shops were open and the street was crowded with much festivity. I slept-in the next morning and very deeply with many vivid dreams of living in a time of antiquity.