San Carlo ai Catinari and Ethel Schwabacher

San Carlo ai Catinari, also called Santi Biagio e Carlo ai Catinari ("Saints Blaise and Charles in Catinari") is an early-Baroque style church in Rome, Italy. It is located on Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, 117 just off the corner of Via Arenula and Via dei Falegnami, a few blocks south of the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle.

The attribute ai Catinari refers to the presence, at the time of its construction, of many dishmaker shops in the same street as the church. The church was commissioned by the Order of the Barnabites and funded by the Milanese community in Rome to honour their fellow Milanese St. Charles Borromeo (Italian: San Carlo). It is one of at least three Roman churches dedicated to him, including San Carlo al Corso and San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (San Carlino). The main design was by Rosato Rosati between 1612 and 1620. The travertine façade was designed by Giovanni Battista Soria and construction occurred in 1635-38. Interior

The interior has yellow scagliola pilasters. The pendentives of the cupola are frescoed with the Cardinal Virtues (1627–30) by Domenichino who designed the stucco decoration in the dome and probably the other main vaults. In the choir is the fresco of S. Carlo Borromeo in Glory; executed in 1646-1647, this is the last painting by Giovanni Lanfranco. Directly behind the high altar is the oil painting of S. Carlo carrying the Holy Nail in Procession during the Plague by Pietro da Cortona. The high altar itself was designed by Martino Longhi the Younger. On the entrance wall are frescoes by Gregorio and Mattia Preti, showing episodes from the Life of Saint Charles (1642).

To the right of the High Altar is an architecturally inventive late-Baroque chapel designed by Antonio Gherardi and built 1695-1700. The view upwards is through an oculus surrounded by angels in the centre of a dark shallow dome, to a rectangular light filled room above illuminated by windows which are not visible from below. In addition, he painted the altarpiece of S. Cecilia in the chapel. Gherardi also designed the equally inventive Avila Chapel in Santa Maria in Trastevere.

The first chapel on the right has an Annunciation (1624) by Lanfranco; in the second chapel, there is a Martyrdom of San Biagio by Giacinto Brandi. The second chapel on the left has an altarpiece depicting the Death of Saint Anne by Andrea Sacchi. The third chapel was designed by Paolo Maruscelli with frescoes of the Persian Martyrdoms (1641) by Giovan Francesco Romanelli and lunettes by Giacinto Gimignani.

The passage behind the High Altar has canvases depicting St. Charles in Prayer (1620) by Guido Reni and St. Charles by Andrea Commodi, as well as a Miracle of St. Blaise (1669) by Cerrini. The bronze crucifix in the sacristy is attributed to Alessandro Algardi and Christ Derided (1598) by Cavalier D'Arpino.

The church contains some notable relics, including the skull of St. Febronia of Nisibis, moved here from the old church of St. Paul after the latter was demolished for the construction of Palazzo Chigi. This relic, kept together with two other skulls of saints, is visible in fenestella confessionis altar.

Ethel Schwabacher and San Carlo ai Catinari

Ethel Kremer Schwabacher (b. New York 1903-1984) was an abstract expressionist painter, represented by the Betty Parsons Gallery in the 1950s and 60s. She was a protégé and first biographer of Arshile Gorky, and friends with many of the prominent painters of New York at that time, including Willem de Kooning, Richard Pousette-Dart, Kenzo Okada, and Jose Guerrero. She was also the author of a monograph on the artist John Ford and a memoir, "Hungry for Light".

Schwabacher was born in New York in 1903. Her family moved to Pelham in 1908 where she first began painting in her garden. She attended Horace Mann School and at age 15 enrolled at the Art Students League of New York. She also studied sculpture at the National Academy of Design until 1921. During 1921, Arnold Genthe took several photographs of her. After her apprenticeship in stone carving with the sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, in 1927 Schwabacher abandoned sculpture and enrolled in Max Weber's painting class at the Art Students League. That year she met Arshile Gorky, with whom she developed a lasting friendship. Warm Rain I, 1959, by Ethel Schwabacher

She lived in Europe from 1928 to 1934. She and Gorky took independent studies together between 1934 and 1936. Gorky introduced her to automatism. She was inspired by Gorky's biomorphic abstractions and erotic forms. In the 30s she began to explore her own sub-conscious, combining automatism with abstract forms, referring to nature. Schwabacher often interconnected themes of womanhood, childbirth and children.

In 1934, she married the prominent entertainment lawyer Wolf Schwabacher. and had two children, Brenda Webster, American critic and novelist, and Christopher Schwabacher a lawyer in New York . Her cousin George Oppen, an objectivist poet who went on the win the Pulitzer Prize, also lived in New York in the 30's.

Following the untimely death of her husband, she expressed her personal traumas through the a series of figurative paintings based on Greek myths. She died on November 25, 1984.

Her work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Rockefeller University in New York City. See also Bodley Gallery
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