Altarpiece of St. Robert
Oil on canvas
Church of San Bernardo alle Terme, Rome
allegorizes the founding of the Cistercian order.
Virgin gives a ring to St. Robert of Molesme, founder of the order's
first monastery, to symbolize her protection and their devotion to
Below, a putto lifts Robert's mitre while an allegorical figure holds his abbatial crozier and a book open to the first
words of the Rule of St. Benedict: Ausculta O Fili Praecepta Magistri
-- "Hear, o son, the precepts of the master."
In the Rule,
sentence continues "accept willingly the rules of your loving father
and with all your might fulfil them." The father/son relationship is
emphasized by the youthfulness of the figure of St. Robert compared to
the maturity of St. Benedict (lower left) with his full gray beard and
More of St.
Robert of Molesme
Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke