Una fondazione 'francese' nella Roma di Innocenzo III: l'ospedale di San Tommaso in formis
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: 70, 2019
The ancient hospital of San Tommaso in Formis is now almost completely gone. Built by the Trinitarian Order sometime between 1210 and 1216, and strongly backed by Pope Innocent III, it was used for housing and any health treatments necessary for Christian prisoners liberated from the yoke of the “infidels”. The building was part of a complex that included the church, a small cemetery and housing for the monks and nuns within the cloistered enclosure. The hospital’s double-nave layout reflected contemporary French planimetric and volumetric solutions, as did the stepped shape of its main façade and the pointed-arch portal giving access to the monastery. Also the portal of the hospital, enriched by a niche containing the symbol of the Order and realized by magister Iacobus and his son Cosma, in its original structure combined the Cosmatesque style with international compositional formulas; through the use of architectural schemes which Iacopo himself - in this case together with his father Lorenzo - had previously experimented with at the church of the Cistercian Abbey of Santa Maria di Falleri and at the Cathedral of Civita Castellana, a style-type never used in Rome was born, one able to satisfy both the ideological needs of the pontiff and the desire of the Trinitarians, as those having commissioned the work, to make their French identity and origin immediately recognizable.