Cappella dei Mercanti is the short name of what in English would be called the “Chapel of the Pious Congregation of Bankers, Shopkeepers and Merchants of Turin”.
Cappella Della Pia Congregazione dei Banchieri e Mercanti Turin
Address: Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 25 – 10122 Torino. Phone: +39 011 8981632. Opening times: Saturday from 15:00 till 18:00, Sundays from 10:00 till 12:00. Ticket price: Free.
History and description
The Cappella dei Mercanti was constructed in 1692 for the Pia Congregazione dei Banchieri, Negozianti e Mercanti di Torino. The congregation itself had been founded 30 years earlier.
Bernardo Antonio Vittone was responsible for a facelift of the facade in 1769.
As is common for Jesuit places of worship, the chapel consists of a single aula.
What to see
Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709) was a Jesuit painter. He was especially famous for his trompe l’oeil paintings, such as the one in the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Church in Rome. For the Cappella dei Mercanti he (and the members of his workshop) created the 12 large paintings on the walls.
The vault frescoes were the work of Legnanino. The overall theme of the cycle is the “History of Salvation”. Legnanino (1661-1713) was a Milanese painter, whose real name was Stefano Maria Legnani.
The altarpiece was painted by Monacalvo and depicts the “Adoration of the Magi”.
Around 1835, the then director of the Astronomical Observatory of Turin designed a “mechanical universal calendar”. The intricately decorated calendar, which runs from the year 1 to the year 4000, was built and can be seen in the sacristy.