Chapel of San Lorenzo or the Bertazzolo family

Second among the chapels on the right side of the nave is the one dedicated to San Lorenzo, patronage of the Bertazzolo family, a noble Mantuan family known for having given numerous prominent figures, especially ecclesiastics, engineers, and ducal prefects of water. Among these it is worth mentioning the hydraulic engineer Gabriele Bertazzolo, active between the 16th and 17th centuries (he regularised, for example, the outlet of the Mincio into the Po near Governolo), writer and cartographer (author of important topographic maps of the city and territory). The Bertazzolo family had San Lorenzo as their patron saint: hence the dedication and paintings of the chapel, which they had erected in the second half of the 16th century.

The space is a florilegium of frescoes (the stories of the saint amidst quadratures and faux marble decorations, faded until the 1960s), set in a context that was certainly reworked to its current form in the mid-sixteenth century (as evidenced by the rounded entrance arch). On the side walls and on the vault, the frescoes depicting the stories of St Laurence, starting with the squares near the altar, are the work of Giulio Rubone. The altarpiece, depicting the Martyrdom of St Laurence, is by Lorenzo Costa the Younger and reproposes with some variations the same subject painted by Titian for the Jesuit church in Venice and, replicated, for the Escorial of Philip II. On the intrados of the entrance arch is a coat of arms with a Puffinus anglorum, or a 'berta' or 'bertazza': the Bertazzolo family took its name from it.

For further information click here: Sanctuary bibliography and insights

Santuario delle Grazie
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