St James in Rome: some notes for visiting pilgrims
The following notes were prepared for visitors to Rome by the late Ian Tweedie. Any corrections or additions would be warmly welcomed.
There are, in painting and mosaic, very many sets of the twelve apostles in Rome, often merely heads. Mostly these lack names and have no iconography to enable James (Giacomo) to be identified. The presence of a staff is not, by itself, a sure guide for often other apostles hold one, particularly when their missionary commissioning is being signified. Several representations of the Transfiguration may also be found, but separating James from John and Peter has proved impossible in those seen.
The parish church of San Giacomo in Augusta is at 499 Via del Corso and is sometimes known as degli Incuriabili by association with a nearby hospital. Originally a 13th c foundation known as Santa Maria in Augusta from its proximity to the mausoleum of Augustus, its name was changed in the 14th c. In a side chapel is a statue of St James by Ippolito Buzio da Viggiu. In the dome is a fresco by Silviero Capparoni of The Glory of St James i.e. his reception into heaven.
On the right bank of the Tiber and 100m downstream from the Ponte Mazzini is the church of San Giacomo alla Lungara (non-parochial). The entrance is at 141 Via della Lungara. Its altarpiece is a painting of St James, with staff, being crowned by angels
On the east side of the Piazza Navona is an entrance to the church of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore which has its main entrance in the Corso Rinascimento. It was formerly known as San Giacomo degli Spagnoli and was built by a Spanish bishop, Alfonso Paradinas, in 1450, as the Spanish national church. It had a hospice beside it for Spanish pilgrims. In 1879, the Spanish association was transferred to Santa Maria in Monserrato (see below) but retains some association with St James. In his chapel is a statue of the saint with three scallop shells on the shoulder strap of his scrip. This is a copy of the original which once stood here but was transferred, with other artefacts, to the Monserrato church. On the wall of the chapel is a painting, by Giovani da Modena, of the saint as Matamoros. There are other very faded murals of scenes from St Jamesís life.
Surmounting the portico of the Basilica San Pietro (St Peterís), a group of large statues shows Christ with Apostles. St James is represented by the second on Christ's right hand. From the front, one sees him holding a sword; viewed from the rear, a staff and pilgrim's hat are visible. There is another (named) statue of St James in the south-west arc of the ambulatory of the crypt. The saint, with sword and book, is also to be found in the second register of paintings in the cupola; it is on the north side and directly above the ďSUPER" in the circumscription.
The church of SS Apostoli, 300m north-east of Piazza Venezia, which had strong links with the exiled Stewarts, has, over the balustrade of its facade, a set of statues of Christ and Apostles. As at St Peter's, St James appears as the second to Christ's right side.
In Trastevere, the church of San Crisogono has a mosaic of the school of Pietro Cavallini in its apse. This shows the Virgin and Child flanked by San Crisogono and St James with sword and book.
San Giovanni in Laterano (St John Lateran) has a statue of the saint with staff; it is the second from the Confession on the north side of the nave. A second St James is to be found on the wall of the north aisle and is a high-relief carving above the window-grill of the Massimo chapel. In it he is shown as a pilgrim with staff and gourd. This was one of three figures forming part of a 15th c altarpiece by Guillaume de Périer. On the ceiling of the porch of the north entrance is a painting of St James with staff and pilgrimís hat; he is to be seen between St Paul and St Simon.
Santa Prassede, Via di Santa Prassede, a little to the southwest of Santa Maria Maggiore, has a chapel of San Zeno decorated with 9th c mosaics. In the lunette supporting the dome on the right are shown St John to the left, with St Andrew and St James (the Great ?) on the right.
San Paolo fuori le Mura (St Paul outside the Walls) has a statue of St James with staff and book; it is the most westerly of those on the south wall of the nave. In the western portico of the entrance courtyard, on the coffered ceiling, appear the names of the apostles including that of St James.
At Tre Fontane, the church of SS Vincenzo & Anastasio has, on the pillars of the nave, partly restored 16th c frescos of the apostles. The fifth from the door, on the right hand, is thought to portray St James. (Viewing is difficult as this front part of the church is railed off from public access.)
Santa Maria in Monserrato is in the Via Monserrato and about 100m north of the Venerable English College. It is now the Spanish national church and associated with a Spanish college in the Via Gulia. It contains a painting of St James by Ann Carracci, a statue of the saint by Iacomo Sansovino and a painting of Madonna and Child which includes St James. The statue was transferred from the earlier Spanish church (see above).
Immediately to the south-east of the Pantheon is the church of Santa
Maria sopra Minerva. The fifth chapel on the left has an altarpiece
by Venusti of St James with staff, book and a (rather blurred) scallop.
The following are reported in the literature but have not yet been confirmed by personal inspection:-
Santa Maria Maggiore has, at the west end of its portico, doors leading to a loggia. Between the arches of this, in the upper order is an enthroned Christ with four angels; in the centre and on the left are the Virgin with St Paul and St James (the Great ?).
Santa Francesca Romana (= Santa Maria Nova) is in the Via del Fori
Imperiali, overlooking the Forum. The mosaic in the apse is said to
show the Virgin and Child with, on her right, St John and St James (the