San Giacomo Maggiore
San Giacomo Maggiore is a church in Bologna, central Italy. It was founded by the Augustinian Order in 1267 and houses, among the rest, the Bentivoglio Chapel, featuring numerous Renaissance artworks.
A community of hermits had established itself near the walls of Bologna, along the Savena river, as early as 1247. Here they founded a monastery with the annexed church of St. James (Italian: San Giacomo). They were later merged with the Augustinian Order in 1256 and, as they needed a larger religious complex within the walls, in 1267 construction of the new church in the present location. The edifice was finished in 1315, but it consecration took place in 1344 after the completion of the apse section. The church, built in sober Romanesque style (with some Gothic elements such as the ogival windows), had a single nave with visible trusses and ended with a polygonal apse-chapel and two square chapels.
In the 15th century the Bentivoglio family built here their patrician chapel (1463–1468), and also added a long portico on the San Donato street (1477–1481). In 1471 the bell tower was raised and, from 1483 to 1498, the interior was largely renovated with a new cover and a dome. New chapels were created in the side walls, which were eventually decorated with Renaissance and Baroque altars and paintings.
The Augustinians were expelled during the French occupation in the early 19th century. They returned in 1824, although part of the convent remained a music school.
The façade is the oldest part of the church, with its late-Romanesque proportions. The decorations in Istrian stone on the ogival windows, in Venetian style, were added by Lombardy masters in 1295. The four funerary cells were added in the early 14th century, a few time after those in the portico, which date to the 13th century and had frescoes (now inside the church); the original entrance protyrus was modified in the same period.
The portico, traditionally attributed to Tommaso Filippi, had 36 Corinthian columns. The entablature has a frieze. The portico also gives access to two cloisters, one from the 15th and another to the 16th century. The complex is bounded by the only surviving section of Bologna's 11th century walls. Next to them are the church of St. Cecilia, the 15th century portico built by the Bentivoglio and the bell tower.
The church has a Renaissance dome designed by Antonio Morandi.
The interior has Renaissance and Baroque decorations. The vaults have frescoes executed in 1495 by Francia and Lorenzo Costa's workshops. There are numerous chapels: the main ones include the Poggi Chapel, with artworks by Pellegrino Tibaldi, and the Bentivoglio Chapel. The latter was designed by Pagno di Lapo Portigiani (1463–1468). It has a majolica pavement by the Della Robbia workshop (1498), with traces of the Bentivoglio coat of arms. The painted decoration was executed by Lorenzo Costa the Elder, and includes the Bentivoglio Altarpiece. The altarpiece is by Francesco Raibolini (c. 1494). The tomb of Anton Galeazzo Bentivoglio was sculpted by Jacopo della Quercia in 1438.
Other artworks include Polyptych of the Holy Cross Relic by Paolo Veneziano, a Virgin in Glory by Bartolomeo Cesi (late 16th century), and an early 15th century late Gothic Crucifix in the Malvezzi Chapel.
- Raule, Angelo (1999). San Giacomo Maggiore in Bologna. Bologna: A. Nanni.