Not far away in the Via Girotto Guaccimanni near the Hotel Byron is the church of S. Maria delle Croci, founded in the tenth century, but entirely rebuilt in the sixteenth. The rose in terracotta of the facade is a work of this time, as is the exquisite baldacchino over the high altar within, upheld by two pilasters and two columns of Greek marble. The picture, too, of the Assumption over the altar is by a master, perhaps Gaspare Sacch’ of Imola, of the sixteenth century. Of the same period is the massive Porta Serrata at the north end of the Corso Garibaldi.
The best monument of later times left in Ravenna is the fine Palazzo Rasponi in Via S. Agnese (No. 2) built in or about 1700.
THE GALLERY AND THE MUSEUM
Ravenna isolated in her marsh and altogether, both geographically and politically, out of the Italian world that began to flower so wonderfully in Tuscany, then in Umbria, and later still in Venice in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, is the last city in which to look for pictures. Nevertheless a few delightful pieces among much that is negligible are to be found in the Accademia delle Belle Arti in the Via Alfredo Baccarini. The collection was begun about 1827, and though what is to be seen there is never of the first importance it is certainly more than we had the right to expect.
The first two rooms upon the upper floor are devoted to the Romagnuol and Bolognese painters, the best of them here pupils or disciples of the one master Ravenna can boast, Niccolo Rondinelli.
We have seen Rondinelli’s organ shutters in S. Domenico, here we have something better. This really fine pupil of Giovanni Bellini was born it seems in Ravenna in the middle of the fifteenth century. Vasari tells us that “there also flourished in Romagna an excellent painter called Rondinello.... Giovanni Bellini, whose disciple he had been, had availed himself to a considerable extent of his services in various works. But after Rondinello had left Giovanni Bellini he continued to practise his art and in such a manner that, being exceedingly diligent, he produced numerous works which are highly deserving of and have obtained considerable praise.... For the altar of S. Maria Maddalena in the cathedral of Ravenna this master painted a picture in oil, wherein he portrayed the figure of that saint only; but in the predella he executed three stories, the small figures of which are very gracefully depicted. In one of these is our Saviour Christ appearing to Mary Magdalen in the form of the gardener; another shows S. Peter leaving the ship and walking upon the waves of the sea, and between them is the Baptism of Christ. All these representations are executed in an exceedingly beautiful manner. Rondinello likewise painted two pictures in the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista in the same city. One of these portrays the Consecration