Santa Maria della Vittoria is a small church not even marked on a touristic map of Rome. Recently seeing a documentary about Lorenzo Bernini refreshed memories about his masterpiece 'Ecstasy of Saint Teresa'. In addition I discovered that with this sculpture, which still leaves people speechless, he was winning back his title of a great sculptor (after his failure with architecturally inaccurate reconstruction).
I couldn't wait to see this 'moment' of euphoria, which is nothing, but union of Bernini's mind and a piece of rock.
Religious moment of enlightenment, achieved via angel’s arrow spearing Saint Teresa's chest, depicted here as something else. Separated with this work by 350 years, I can't help myself, but to sink into the divine blissfulness of a woman. They say the angel's arrow is pointing a bit lower than Saint Teresa's chest. I can totally sense it with my whole body. Bernini must have known female body well. I can only shake my head and when ready to leave this astonishing moment say: it was amazing...
During our visit we were blessed twice, not only with the work of art, but prior to the contemplation of it, with a service. I don't understand Italian, but visual understanding and adoring of what I saw was enough. After the service was over everyone stood up. It was easy to notice the rush and how the congregation was getting their cameras ready. Waiting for the moment of meeting this work of art made it even more irresistible. There were a few nuns attending the service. They went to see the sculpture too. I wondered if they wanted to stay longer, but resisted the temptation. A couple of minutes surly can't be enough. Or is it just about right?