Complex iconography

The cult of Saint Ursula, a family funerary chapel and family propaganda

Several statues decorate the chapel. In addition to Charity, three other statues represent the virtues of Faith, Hope and Truth. Above the altar, in the centre of the back wall, a niche holds the statue of Saint Ursula. She is surrounded by a number of reliquaries that are now empty. The side walls bear funerary inscriptions and two torch-bearing putti. The cupola of the chapel was decorated with 16 gilded and polychromed coats of arms of the della Torre ancestors, as well as the L of Lamoral and his new coat of arms.

The chapel had a triple function: to venerate Saint Ursula, to serve as the family’s funerary chapel but also for family propaganda. Charity exemplifies the complex iconography of the chapel as it can be interpreted in various ways: as a symbol for the love of one’s neighbour, but also more specifically as a symbol of the love that the wife of the count’s successor felt for her husband, up to her death.