With a small ante-chamber used as a prie-dieu by Maria Theresa of Austria-Este, the chapel, built in a space dating from the early 18th century, contains paintings by Giovanni Comandù and Pietro Cuniberti, dated 1793-94, while the faux marble decoration, gilt stucco cornices and wooden carving are attributable to Giuseppe Ghigo.
On the altar, which is no longer in position, we know that there used to a painting by Girolamo Giovenone, now conserved in the Galleria Sabauda.
The small adjacent sacristy offers some very simple decoration, with motifs of vases and garlands on the walls.
Thanks to the documentary Register of the Historic Archive of the Comune di Rivoli, we know that in 1846 the chapel had “Three large doors with glass panes divided into three, with chambranles, side panels and upper ceilings with gilt cornices and painting and sculptures on the wainscot forming three prie-dieux”.
There was a “carved, gilt and sculpted altar, natural walnut bardella seat, pietra sacrata (altar), 3 altar cards with a Crucifix decorated with carved and gilt wood”.
Above the altar, there was an ancon “with a canvas painted in oil showing the Holy Family with a frame with large cultural and gilt decorations”, here attributed to Gaudenzio Ferrari, but actually by Girolamo Giovenone. This altarpiece, today in the Galleria Sabauda, was presented in 1937 to the City of Turin for the exhibition of Piedmontese Baroque of the same year.
Did you know?
(Mondovì 1746- Turin 1822)
Formerly a pupil at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, where he won the first prize in the second class for a contest of nude studies, we rediscover him in 1782 as the pupil of Pecheux at the Accademia di Pittura e Scultura in Turin. In those same years as he was active in Rivoli, Comandù was also working for Maurice of Savoy, Duke of Monferrato in the abbey palace of the suppressed abbey of Casanova in Carmagnola. The prince who had established his residence there commissioned Comandù to paint numbers II, III and IV of the Via Crucis in the church.
For the church of Santa Croce in Rivoli, he painted the altarpiece with the “Martyrdom of Saint Ursula and her companions”.