Thursday, October 3, 2013

BASILICA OF St. PETER (second part)

In 1727 many altarpieces were replaced with mosaics
Above the Holy Door, mosaic "St. Peter" 1675 maybe by Ciro Ferri (1634/89) or G.B. Ricci
Mosaic with "Apocalyptic scene of angels marking the foreheads of the chosen ones with the sign of the living God" designed in 1668 by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669) and by his pupil Ciro Ferri (1634/89) who completed the work from 1669 to 1671, after the death of his teacher
In the SPANDRELS mosaics with important personalities of the Ancient Testament:
"Noah with the ark"
"Sacrifice of Isaac"
"Moses with the tablets of the Law"
"Prophet Jeremiah"
1669/71 by Ciro Ferri executed as mosaic in the years 1680/81 by Fabio Cristofari (about 1615/89)
In the LUNETTES mosaics with sibyls and minor prophets who had prophesied the Passion:
"Phrygian Sibyl"
"Cumaean Sibyl" 
"Prophet Amos"
"Prophet Zechariah"
"Prophet Hosea"
"Prophet Isaiah"
1669/71 by Ciro Ferri executed as mosaics in the years 1677/79 by Fabio Cristofari
In the DRUM plaster statues "Four angels with symbols of the Passion" 1712 by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736)
Famous "Pietà" August 1498/August 1499 by Michelangelo Buonarroti when he was twenty-three years old for Cardinal Jean de Bilhères de Lagraulas ambassador for Charles VIII King of France
The pedestal of the statue was designed by Francesco Borromini (1599/1667)
It is regarded as the most significant and most beautiful statue in the whole world
It was placed here in 1749. It was previously located in the Choir Chapel
It was the subject of an attack in 1972 by the deranged Austro-Hungarian Laszlo Toth: shouting "I am Jesus Christ born again from the dead" he hammered the statue fifteen times before being stopped. He was hospitalized for two years in Italy and, after being released, he went to Australia where he still lives
During the restoration a letter M was discovered drawn in the lines in the palm of the right hand of the Virgin
Michelangelo had heard unrecognized some admirers in front of the "Pieta" doubting that he had done it because he was too young. They were attributing it more plausibly to some Milanese sculptor. He then entered at night in the Basilica and engraved on the Madonna's dress band Michael Angelus Bonarotus Florent Faciebat: Michelangelo Buonarroti from Florence did this. It is the only work that he ever signed in his life
"The Virgin holds in her lap the dead Christ, as if it were a sleeping child, and young as when Christ was a child. Perhaps the statue is to be just that: a vision or, rather, the anticipation or foreshadowing that the Virgin has of the Passion of her Son. The vision of the future is tied up right away with regret: the demonstrative gesture of the hand of the Madonna said that the prediction has unfortunately come true. It is a period of time from past to future that excludes the present time, the reality of the event. The composition is enclosed in a pyramid, as if to indicate that everything is part of a divine idea that transcends pain and human compassion" (Giulio Carlo Argan)
"Michelangelo deliberately accentuated the youth of the Virgin Mary departing markedly from the usual figurative tradition that wanted Mary represented in old age. So she comes to embody the symbol of eternal life. Our Lady, Virgin and Mother at the same time, preserves the immaculate youth of her face, while slightly showing anyway, in her deep silence, all the pain for the death of her Son, who is gently resting on her lap, almost weightless. The figure of Christ does not have the rigidity of a corpse and doesn't show signs of wounds, as he was normally realistically represented: he is the perfect humanity of the God-Man, not deformed by death and not disfigured by suffered tortures" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
"It is related to a type of representation derived from popular religion and late medieval mysticism, and widespread since the fourteenth century, particularly in northern Europe, under the name Vesperbild. The depiction of the Pietà was particularly likely to draw a visual connection between the incarnation of Christ, his coming as man, and the Eucharistic sacrifice, his sacrifice. In fact, the medieval theology linked the Madonna both to the birth of the Savior and to the altar on which the sacrifice of Christ was simbolically repeated during mass. The body of Christ depicted lying in his mother's lap was equivalent to the Host that the priest raised during the Eucharist" (Frank Zöllner)
"It is his most carefully finished work. He must have spent endless time sanding with abrasives, until the figure of Christ reached a polishness almost shiny, glazed. You will not find drill holes, but studying the head of Christ one cannot ignore the fact that the hair has been worked extensively with the drill" (Rudolf Wittkower)
In the center of the vault "Triumph of the Cross" and on the sides "Scenes from the Passion" frescoes by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647): they are the only paintings in the whole church together with those in the Chapel of Holy Sacrament and in the Confession
On the left "Monument to Queen Christina of Sweden (1626/89)" 1691/1702 Carlo Fontana (1634/1714) with bas-relief "Christina of Sweden abjuring Protestantism in Innsbruck on the year 1655" by Jean-Baptiste Théodon (1646/1713) and "Angels" by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736)
The Queen was buried in the Crypt of the Basilica
She became Queen of Sweden in 1632 when she was 6 years old, lived in a nonconformist way, refused to marry and secretly converted to Catholicism. In 1654 she abdicated in favor of her cousin and went to Rome where she lived until her death in 1689. She has become one of the most famous gay icons
On the right "Statue of Leo XII Sermattei (1823/29)" with allegories above the niche of "Religion" on the left and "Justice" on the right 1836 by Giuseppe De Fabris (1790/1860)
Leo XII is actually buried in the Chapel of our Lady of the Pillar
"In 1825 Leo XIII had celebrated the Jubilee of 1825 and the event is commemorated in the monument with the pope, standing and blessing, surrounded, in a neo-medieval quote, consisting in representing the cardinals Cappellari (the future Pope Gregory XVI), Pacca, Odescalchi and Zurla out of scale" (Roberto Cassanelli)
CHAPEL OF THE RELICS (Under the statue of Leo XII)
It was originally a warehouse and it was transformed into a chapel approximately in the years 1664/71 by Bernini
Decorated in about 1750 by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) and restored in 1887 by Andrea Busiri Vici (1818/1911)
Over the main altar "Wooden crucifix" maybe by Pietro de' Cerroni aka Pietro Cavallini (about 1240/1325) formerly in the first chapel on the right and moved here in 1749 when it had to make room for the "Pietà" by Michelangelo
Altar on the left with altarpiece in mosaic "St. Nicholas" in 1680 by Fabio Cristofari (about 1615/89)
Altar on the right with altarpiece in mosaic "St. Joseph with the Child Jesus"1892 from a painting by Francesco Grandi (1831/91)
Six large eighteenth century closets to preserve the relics
At the center of the chapel there is a tiny lift installed during the pontificate of Pius XI Ratti (1922/39) which connects the Basilica with the Apostolic Palace
Mosaic with "Apocalyptic scene with a host of martyrs proceeding with the palms of martyrdom toward the eternal God enthroned near the Lamb" designed in the years 1652/62 by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669) and by his pupil Ciro Ferri
"Here Pietro da Cortona, assisted by Ciro Ferri, shows a significant display of Baroque decoration, where the dynamism and the pictorial agility of his inventions are enhanced by its compositional and perspective ability" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
In the SPANDRELS mosaics with:
"Abel offering a lamb in sacrifice"
"Prophet Isaiah with a saw, instrument of martyrdom"
"Prophet Ezekiel (or Jeremiah)"
"Prophet Zechariah"
In the LUNETTES mosaics with martyrs of the Old Testament:
"Martyrdom of the seven Maccabee brothers and their mother"
"Mattathias kills the apostate Jew"
"Angel bears the palm of martyrdom over the bodies of the two Jewish mothers and their children"
"Old Eleazar sentenced to death by Antiochus because he refused to eat the forbidden meat"
"Daniel in the lions' den"
"The three children Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego condemned by Nebuchadnezzar to burn alive in the furnace of Babylon"
1652/62 by Pietro da Cortona and 1659/63 by Raffaele Vanni (1587/1673) executed as mosaics in the years 1654/60 by Matteo Piccioni, Guidobaldo Abbatini (1600/56), Fabio Cristofari (about 1615/89) and Orazio Manenti
In the DRUM plaster statues "Angels with symbols of martyrdom" 1713 by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736 )
Mosaic "Death of St. Sebastian" from the original made in 1614 by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641) in the Pinacoteca Vaticana
"The contrast between life and death plays a formidable role in baroque iconography, and one of the most innovative features of the period is that we can describe as "happy death" - ie, a scene in which the dying agony of the human and the grief of the survivors are mixed with a feeling of supreme liberation" (Erwin Panofsky)
Under the altar until May 2011 there was the body of Innocent XI Odescalchi (1676/89) whose monument is in fact in the left nave
Since May 2011 the body of Innocent XI was moved to the Cappella Clementina and the "Tomb of John Paul II" Wojtyla (1978/2005) was placed here
On the right "Monument of Pius XI Ratti (1922/39)" by Francesco Nagni (1897/1977)
The book that he holds open with one hand is a quote for the attention shown by Pius XI for the Ambrosian and the Vatican Libraries
The statue replaced the earlier monument made in 1949 by Pietro Canonica (1869/1959) that had not been very much appreciated and was therefore moved to the Lateran Palace
Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty between the Italian State and the Church in 1929 but he opposed many aspects of fascism. He condemned the nazi ideology and he wrote the encyclical "With deep concern" in German. When Hitler visited Rome, he went to Castel Gandolfo, ordered to close the Vatican Museums and to turn off all the lights of the Vatican
On the left "Monument of Pius XII Pacelli (1939/58)" 1961/64 by Francesco Messina (1900/95)
Messina represented the pope with the miter, the headdress of bishops, rather than the tiara, the headgear of the popes, to emphasize the important and dramatic role as bishop of Rome that Pius XII had during the tragic World War II
Pius XII was a controversial figure, criticized for his more moderate reaction to nazism compared to his predecessor Pius XI
"Continuing his search for natural shapes modeled in a solid and vibrant way, he executed the monumental marble statue of St. Catherine of Siena in the gardens of Lungotevere Castello and for the Basilica of St. Peter he conceived the Monument to Pope Pius XII: a large sculpture designed to fully represent, in the verticality of the volumes and in the vitality and color of the surface, the ecclesiastical stature of the blessing pope" (Rosanna Ruscio - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
On the right "Tomb of Innocent XII" Pignatelli (1691/1700) designed by Ferdinando Fuga (1699/1782)
Sculptures "Pope" between "Charity" and "Justice" 1746 by Filippo Della Valle (1698/1768)
"During 1600 the political influence of the pope had been gradually fading and this is reflected in papal monuments of the period. Already the Clement IX in Santa Maria Maggiore by Domenico Guidi - 1675 - and the Clement X in St. Peter's Basilica by Ercole Ferrata - about 1685 - had shown a considerably weakened gesture of blessing and a decrease in volume. This trend continued until Filippo Della Valle made of his Innocent XII a frail old man rather than the symbolic leader of Christendom" (Rudolf Wittkower)
"The entire composition is a little gem for the use of ancient and rare marbles (antique yellow, antique green, breccia of Skyros or Settebassi). The two allegories, despite the still classic setting, come alive and are complemented by an all rococo spirit, also thanks to the presence of the lively and lovely cherubs. The female characters do not have the natural details that are found in the works of Bernini, but remain idealized figures, built with elegant pictorial softness, yet with a solid structure" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
On the left "Monument to the Countess Matilda of Canossa" 1634/37 by Bernini
Cherubs holding scrolls on the sarcophagus: on the right by Luigi Bernini (1612/81), Gian Lorenzo's brother, on the left by Andrea Bolgi (1606/56) also responsible for the scroll
Relief on the sarcophagus "Pardon granted by Pope Gregory VII (1073/85) to Emperor Henry IV at Canossa in 1077, in the presence of the Countess Matilda, his son Amadeo and Abbot Hugh of Cluny" 1634/36 by Stefano Speranza
Putti at the top of the arch and coat of arms by Matteo Bonarelli (husband of Constance, lover of Bernini), Andrea Bolgi and Lorenzo Flori
Matilda was born in 1046 and when she was 30 years old she was ruling over an area extending from Lake Garda in Northern Italy to the Lazio region north of Rome. She supported Pope Gregory VII in the investiture controversy against the German Emperor Henry IV
"The decorating project was originally entrusted, in 1640, to Niccolò Tornioli. In 1562 the Congregazione della Reverenda Fabbrica (Congregation of the Reverend Factory) decided to give the job to Pietro da Cortona. (...) The dominant iconographic theme is the mystery of the Eucharist, a voluntary underscore of a subject at that time disputed by Protestants and illustrated with great scenes that echo the religious struggles" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
In the SPANDRELS mosaics with personalities who have preached the Eucharistic sacrifice:
"Melchizedek, king of Salem, offers the bread"
"Elijah fed by an Angel"
"A priest distributes the ceremonial bread"
"Aaron fills a jar with manna"
1653/63 by Ciro Ferri (1634/89), Matteo Piccioni, Guidobaldo Abbatini (1600/56), Fabio Cristofari (about 1615/89) and Orazio Manenti
In the LUNETTES mosaics with episodes of punishment for those who eats unworthily of the Eucharist:
"High Priest offering the first fruits of corn"
"Two of the twelve scouts sent by Moses in the land of Canaan returning with a bunch of grapes"
"Uzzah dies because he had touched the Ark unworthily"
"A seraph purifies Isaiah's lips with a live coal"
"Jonathan, Saul's son, is nourished with a honeycomb"
"The idol of Dagon destroyed by the Ark of God"
1659/63 by Raffaele Vanni ( 1587/1673 ) executed as mosaics by Orazio Manenti
In the DRUM four statues in stucco "Angels with Eucharistic symbols" in 1713 by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736)
Bronze gate 1629/30 by Francesco Borromini who also designed the two marble portals in the end wall of the chapel
Fourteen bas-reliefs in stucco on the ceiling and seven on the walls with "Stories of the Old and New Testaments" 1623/27 by G.B. Ricci (about 1550/1624)
Altar and "Ciborium" in gilt bronze and lapis lazuli 1674 by Bernini: it had been commissioned almost fifty years before by Urban VIII
"Colored marble, gilded bronze and lapis lazuli are combined in a framework of sublime beauty that symbolically expresses the intangible perfection of the angelic world and the glory of God. With his revolutionary way of treating color and light, Bernini started a development that would have immense consequences" (Rudolf Wittkower)
"Baroque version of a familiar theme, it seems likely that his source of inspiration was a relief, perhaps by Andrea Sansovino in S. Croce in Gerusalemme, which he surely knew (...). The weeping and human worship of angels in contrast with the timeless architecture of the building is typical of the late style of Bernini. In his later years he seems to have found in the inexorable laws of architecture a touching contrast to our human transitional state" (Howard Hibbard)
Altarpiece oil on canvas "Trinity" 1632 Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona, the only altarpiece not made in mosaic in the whole Basilica
"In 1627, the Congregazione della Reverenda Fabbrica (Congregation of the Reverend Factory) had decided to entrust the execution of the work for this chapel to Guido Reni. Due to differing opinions (...) the negotiations failed, and following the sudden and controversial departure of the painter to Bologna, in February of the following year the commission went to Cortona, thanks to the support of Cardinal Francesco Barberini. It is a typical Baroque composition, dynamic, animated by many figures but at the same time harmoniously gathered. It has become an iconographic model admired in his time and imitated in the following century" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
Paintings on the walls "Angels" 1742 by Giacomo Zoboli (1681/1767)
On the right "Two spiral columns" from the old Basilica with a mosaic in the middle, copy of "St. Francis stigmatized" by Domenichino in S. Maria della Concezione
On the left organ made in 1582
The entrance to the passage is topped by sculptures "Fame holds the coat of arms of Pope Innocent X Pamphili (1644/55)" by Luigi Bernini (1612/81) designed by his brother Gian Lorenzo Bernini
On the right "Monument to Gregory XIII" Boncompagni (1572/85) 1720/23 Camillo Rusconi (1658/1728) for Cardinal Giacomo Boncompagni great-grandson of the Pope
Statues of allegories: on the left "Religion" with tablets of the Law and the Gospel book", on the right "Magnificence in the guise of Minerva" leaning against a shield with the signature of Camillo Rusconi
In the relief on the front of the sarcophagus "Proclamation of the Gregorian Calendar reform in 1582"
It was decided to go directly from October 4, 1582 to October 15, skipping 10 days, to overcome the lag of 11 minutes and 14 seconds accumulated since the time of the reform of Julius Caesar. Catholics adopted it immediately, Protestants in the eighteenth century and later the Orthodox as well as most of the countries in the world
"Although deeply rooted in the Bernini idea of sculpture, Rusconi mixed here elements from the Leo XI by Algardi (allegory) and from the Innocent XI by Monnot (whiteness of the monument, keystone sarcophagus with relief and idea of a sitting Pope on the sarcophagus), but was not a simple repetition. His monument is placed asymmetrically, the pope is not sitting on the center, nor allegories follow the usual heraldry arrangement. The tomb was made to be seen on one side. Moreover the drapery of Courage, seen from the left, creates a dominant diagonal that links the allegory to the figure of the pope. The tomb is a rare synthesis of classical and baroque tendencies of Algardi and Bernini, carried out with success in a late Baroque style by Rusconi" (Rudolf Wittkower)
On the left "Tomb of Gregory XIV" Sfondrati (1590/91) with statues in stucco on the left "Religion" and on the right "Justice" by Prospero Antichi aka Prospero Bresciano (active since 1580/d. after 1592)
Gregory XIV was pope for only 10 months
The two statues are stucco models originally belonging to the temporary grave of Gregory XIII. They should have been made of marble or bronze, but the monument was never completed and is the only one in the Basilica without a statue of the pope
Even the urn was in plaster and the current one in marble was only made in 1842
The three frescoes in monochrome refer to the life of Gregory XIII
1583 Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) for Gregory XIII Boncompagni (1572/85)
It was the first chapel to be used for worship in the new basilica and the first to be decorated with mosaics:
In the DOME of the chapel mosaics "Marian symbols supported by angels taken from the Litany of Loreto" executed in the years 1772/75 from drawings of the Sicilian Salvatore Monosilio (active since 1744/d. 1776)
In the SPANDRELS mosaics with "St. Gregory the Great", "St. Jerome", "St. Gregory Nazianzen" and "St. Basil"
In the LUNETTES mosaics with "St. Mary during the Annunciation", "Archangel Gabriel", "Ezekiel" and "Isaiah"
They were carried out in the years 1578/79 by Venetian artists from models of Girolamo Muziano (1532/92). They were restored in the years 1758/79
"The facing of the walls and vaults with polychrome marbles, stucco and mosaics followed the tradition of Roman private chapels, inaugurated by Raphael in the Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo. Progressively the same decorative schemes spread to the whole church" (Christof Thoenes)
"Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help)" dating, according to tradition, to the time of Paschal II (1099/1118), formerly in the old basilica. It is the oldest and most venerated Marian image of the basilica
Tomb of St. Gregory Nazianzen who gives his name to the chapel, along with Gregory XIII who had the remains of his namesake moved here in 1580 from the church of S. Maria in Campo Marzio
"Tomb of Gregory XVI" Cappellari (1831/46) 1854 by Luigi Amici (1817/97) in a somewhat cold purist style. The portrait of the pontiff, however, is actually very dignified and full of pathos
Statues of allegories: on the left "Sapienza" and on the right "Prudence"
In the bas-relief on the sarcophagus "Activities for the Catholic missions of Cardinal Cappellari as prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide"
The jambs of the door of the monument are made out of alabaster coming from Egypt
On the sides of the monument "Two African gray marble columns" from the Temple of the Goddess Rome near the Colosseum
Mosaic "Communion of St. Jerome" from the original by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641) now in the Vatican Museum. It was executed in 1730 by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) and retouched by Alessandro Cocchi e Giuseppe Ottaviani
John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council which changed the Catholic approach to the world as well as the church liturgy. Known affectionately as "Good Pope John" and "the most beloved Pope in history" to many people, on September 3, 2000, John was declared "Blessed" by Pope John Paul II the penultimate step on the road to sainthood
On the right "Tomb of Benedict XIV" Lambertini (1740/1758) 1769 by Pietro Bracci (1700/73) with allegorical figures: on the left "Holy wisdom" and on the right "Disinterest" refusing riches offered by a putto with bat wings. The statue of Disinterest was executed by Gaspare Sibilla (about 1723/82), a pupil of Bracci
"Bracci designed a large number of tombs including those of Benedict XIII in S. Maria sopra Minerva and that of Benedict XIV, as well as many busts with fine psychological insight and a vibrant, masterful way of dealing with the surface. Still dependent from Bernini's vocabulary, he turned it into an eighteenth century style tender and lyrical, sometimes even sentimental" (Rudolf Wittkower)
"The idea of representing the pope standing, breaking with the previous tradition, appears in a drawing by Paolo Posi with whom Bracci might have worked, probably dating back to 1760" (Jennifer Montagu)
On the left mosaic "The Last Mass of St. Basil in 372 at the presence of Emperor Valens" 1748/51 by four mosaicists directed by Luigi Vanvitelli from the original 1743/47 by Pierre Subleyras (1699/1749) now in the Basilica St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs
Under the mosaic body of S. Jehoshaphat moved here in 1963, founder of the Basilian Order in 1617
Mosaic "The Martyrdom of Sts. Process and Martinian" 1737 by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) from the original painting by Jean Valentin aka Valentin de Boulogne (about 1591/1632) in the Vatican Museums
Relics of Sts. Process and Martinian from the old basilica in which they had been brought by Paschal I (817/824): according to tradition they were the guards of S. Peter in the Mamertine Prison
On the sides of the central altar "Two monolithic columns in giallo antico marble" from Chemtou in Tunisia: with the other two in the opposite transept they are considered unique in the world in size and workmanship
Ovals to the sides with portraits in mosaic "St. Anthony Mary Claret" and "St. Joaquina de Vedruna" of the nineteenth century
Stuccoes in the upper part of the niche "Episodes from the life of St. Paul" 1597/99 
Mosaic "St. Wenceslas of Bohemia" 1740 by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) and Giuseppe Ottaviani from the original painting of 1632 by Angelo Caroselli in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna
Caroselli inserted in the painting another painting with the episode of the martyrdom of S. Wenceslas: he was the young king of Bohemia in the tenth century and was killed by his younger brother while he was praying. His body is venerated in the Cathedral of St. Vitus in Prague which he had founded
Ovals to the sides with portraits in mosaic with "St. Cyril" and "St. Methodius" of the nineteenth century
Stuccoes in the upper part of the niche "Episodes from the life of St. Thomas" 1597/99
On the left ALTAR OF St. ERASMUS
Mosaic "Martyrdom of St Erasmus" 1737/39 by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) and Giuseppe Ottaviani from the original painting of the years 1628/29 by Nicolas Poussin (1594/1665) in the Vatican Museums
Ovals to the sides with portraits in mosaic with "St. Vladimir" and "St. Olga" of the nineteenth century
Stuccoes in the upper part of the niche "Episodes from the life of St. James Major" 1597/99
Stuccoes 1749 by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) and three medallions with "Stories of Sts. Peter and Paul" by G.B. Maini (1690/1752)
"S. Gaetano Thiene" 1738 by Carlo Monaldi (about 1690/1760)
"St. Jerome Emiliani" 1757 by Pietro Bracci (1700/73)
"St. Bruno" 1744 by the French Michelangelo Slodtz (1705/64) who lived in Rome for 17 years
"A dramatic event replaced, wherever possible, the simple interpretation of devotion and vision. Slodtz chose to represent the dramatic rejection of the saint of the miter and pastoral. Interest in the episode seems to weaken the spiritual content. Such a figure illustrates very well the tendency of the elegant French rococò to pervade Roman sculpture in the middle of the eighteenth century" (Rudolf Wittkower)
"S. Giuseppe Calasanzio" 1755 by Innocenzo Spinazzi (1718/98)
"A student of G.B. Maini, he turned the baroque tradition towards a more dry style, in a delicate balance between classicism, naturalism and eighteenth century grace, even more evident in his following production" (Enciclopedia Treccani)
"St. Francesca Xavier Cabrini" 1947 by Enrico Tadolini (1884/1967)
Born in 1850, she went to America at age 40 and took American citizenship in 1909. She was the first to be canonized - 1946 - of the seven American saints, she was the first woman missionary and she is the patron saint of migrants. She died in 1917
"S. Giovanna Antida Thouret" 1949 by Carlo Quattrini and Enrico Quattrini (1863/1950)
"S. Paolo della Croce" 1876 by Ignazio Jacometti (1819/83
"S. Bonfiglio Monaldi" 1906 by Cesare Aureli (1843/1923)
On the right "Monument of Clement XIII" Rezzonico (1758/69) 1784/92 by Antonio Canova (1757/1822) with allegorical figures: on the left "Religion" and on the right "Genius of Death"
Canova went to Caserta to draw from life the "Lions" kept in the Garden of Royal Palace. The one on the right represents Strength, always awake, the one on the left Meekness which moderates strength
"The solemn and binding monument is set on a regular and balanced composition and the theme of death is dealt with serene meditation. The dark baroque allegory about death becomes here the symbolic image of the Christian religion and of the funerary genius, with the inverted torch, tender allusion to the transience of earthly life" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"With the purity of the surfaces and the simplicity of the lines of the composition, this work introduces the Neoclassical style in the Vatican Basilica. The sculptural group, executed in Carrara marble, with the exception of the bases made ​​of 'lumachella' stone and the two lions made of travertine, (...) has as its vertex the portrait of the Pope on his knees, his face realistically animated. (...) With great detail Canova faced the virtuoso work of finishing the precious cope: a reference well-suited because this pope (...) is remembered in the history of textile art for the beauty and richness of his vestments" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
On the left mosaic "Boat of the Apostles" 1721 copy in mosaic by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) from the original painting of the years 1627/28 by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647) now in the loggia of the blessings
The mosaic had in turn replaced a fresco of 1605 by the excellent Genoese painter Bernardo Castello (about 1557/1629). For him, this work was the peak of his career but, sadly, it was not well received. When he learned of the decision to replace the painting in 1626, he suffered a nervous breakdown that led to his death three years after
The DOME is the only one in the basilica to alternate mosaics to plaster figures made ​​in 1725 by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736). In the mosaics "Angelic Gloria" 1726/29 by Fattori, Gossoni, Fiani, Clori, Enuò e Cocchi from drawings by Nicolò Ricciolini (1687/1772) of the years 1721/26
In the LUNETTES mosaics with "Angels and life of St. Petronilla"
In the SPANDRELS mosaics with Doctors and Fathers of the Greek and Latin Church who have written works about angels: "Leo the Great" and "Dionysius the Areopagite" from paintings by Andrea Sacchi (1599/1661), "St. Bernard" from a painting by Carlo Pellegrini (1605/49) and "St. Gregory the Wonderworker" from a painting by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62)
"The chapel can be considered the testimony of the devotion of the French monarchs and their people for the Christian Church and this basilica in particular. It replaces the ancient imperial round building, formerly located on the left side of the old St. Peter's, where Paul I (757/767) had placed the remains of St. Petronilla after the exhumation from the Catacomb of St. Domitilla. (...) In 781, Charlemagne baptized his son Carlomanno in the rotunda and in the following centuries the French kings, from the Carolingians through the Valois, considered it as their national church, restoring it and enriching it with gifts until the destruction, decreed by Pope Julius II to make room for the new basilica" ( Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi )
Mosaic "St. Michael the Archangel" by Bernardino Regoli and Giovan Francesco Fiani from the 1635 original by Guido Reni (1575/1642) in S. Maria della Concezione
It is a famous painting of which there are hundreds of copies around the world. It was a tribute to Raphael of whom there is a painting with same subject now in the Louvre. The face of the devil is the portrait of none other than Cardinal G.B. Pamphilj who nine years later became Pope Innocent X and who had slandered Reni and the Barberini family, patron of the artist
Mosaic "Burial and glory of St. Petronilla" by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743), Filippo Cocchi and Giuseppe Ottaviani from the 1623 original by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
"Although it is one of the first mosaics executed in the basilica, it is the masterpiece of the entire series for the high artistic value of the painting reproduced and the sensitive ability of the mosaicists to faithfully maintain the chromatic and plastic characteristics of the original" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
Under the altar there are the relics of St. Petronilla
On the FLOOR slab of marble with inscription under which there is the tomb of the two Della Rovere popes: Sixtus IV (1471/84) and his nephew Julius II (1503/13) moved here in 1926 from the Chapel of the Choir along with two Cardinals of the same family: Galeotto Della Rovere and Fazio Santoro
The famous tomb of Julius II, designed by Michelangelo in St. Peter in Chains is therefore empty
At the center of the floor "Coat of arms of St. Pius X Sarto (1903/14)" 1908 in precious marbles, executed on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his priesthood
On the right "Tomb of Clement X" Altieri (1670/76) 1684 by Mattia De Rossi (1637/95) for the Cardinal Paluzzo Paluzzi degli Albertoni nephew of Pope Clement X, executed by former employees of Bernini:
"Statue of the Pope" by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86)
On the left "Mercy" by Giuseppe Mazzuoli (1644/1725)
On the right "Benignity" by Lazzaro Morelli (1608/90)
Bas-relief "Opening of the Holy Door in 1675" by Leonardo Retti (active 1670/1709)
"Putti" by Filippo Carcani
On the corners of the sarcophagus "Skulls with wigs" by Francesco Aprile (?/1685)
In 1962 the tomb was the object of a terrorist attack: a bomb exploded after closing time but it fortunately caused little damage
On the left mosaic "St. Peter raises Tabitha the Maiden" 1758/60 by Fiani, Ottaviani, Regoli and Paleat from the 1736/40 original by Placido Costanzi (1702/59) in St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs
It covered a ruined fresco with the same subject made in 1606 by Giovanni Baglione: it had earned him the honorary title of Knight of Christ but it was very much criticized by Caravaggio, who had scoffed at him publicly
APSIDAL BASIN stuccoes 1749 by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) and three medallions "Stories of Sts. Peter and Paul" by G.B. Maini (1690/1752)
"Chair of St. Peter" 1656/65 extraordinary masterpiece by Bernini for Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67)
Bronze reliefs on the dossal "Christ entrusts to Peter the guidance of the Church", on the left side "Handing of the keys", on the right side "Washing of the Feet"
Bernini was helped by 35 artists, including Ercole Ferrata (1610/86), Ercole Antonio Raggi (1624/86) and Lazzaro Morelli (1608/90)
The chair was proved to be a wooden throne dating to the year 875 donated by Charles the Bald to Pope John VIII (872/882) on the occasion of his coronation here
Humongous bronze statues of Doctors of the Church:
In front to the right "St. Augustine", to the left "St. Ambrose" (Latin Church)
Behind to the left "St. Athanasius", to the right "St. John Chrysostom" (Greek Church)
The bronze structure's weight is 74 tonnes (81.5 tons). The height is 14.74 m (48.3 feet). The statues of the Doctors of the Church are 5.35 m (17.5 feet) high
Window with stained glass "Dove of the Holy Spirit" 1911 by the German glassmaker Hagle from the original design of Giovanni Paolo Schor (1615/74)
"The Chair as other works he did has been designed for a framed main view. It was conceived as a carved painting, full color and enormous in size. The compositional principle that lies behind the use of color here is obvious: the color lightens up, and becomes more visionary, as the characters and objects get closer to the celestial region. Therefore here polychromy has a supernatural significance" (Rudolf Wittkower)
"The four Doctors of the Church in bronze, with expressions full of pathos and impetuous gestures still reveal a distant reminder of the great paintings by Rubens, while the glory of Paradise in gilded plaster, bronze and glass can be considered the crown of the figurative research on the theme of the celestial apparition and of the immeasurable space, which had concerned, since Correggio, Italian artists for over a century" (Alessandro Angelini)
"The stained glass in the center of the composition, is both light and pictorial image but, because of the perfect direction, the observer's eye is not troubled by the contrast of tones" (Paolo Portoghesi)
Bronze ALTAR made in 1975 by the American Albert Friscia (1911/89) covered by the mobile altar of 1907 by Constantino Annecher decorated with a medallion with busts of St. Peter and St. Paul
"Monument to Urban VIII" Barberini (1623/44) 1627/47 by Bernini
Statue on the left "Charity" in the likeness of Constanza Bonarelli, wife of an assistant to Bernini and his mistress: he had her scarred in her face after learning that she was also the lover of his brother punished, in turn, with a beating
The statue originally had naked breasts and it was covered at the end of the nineteenth century
Statue on the right "Justice"
First example ever of the baroque tomb, heir of Michelangelo's Medici tombs
Over the sarcophagus there is a skeleton who writes the epitaph as a memento mori, a remainder that we all must die. On the pages of the book are also visible the initials of the popes before Urban VIII: G for Gregory XV Ludovisi (1621/23) and P for Paul V Borghese (1605/21)
"Representing death writing was a lively and pulsing way to replace the predictable epigraphic scroll" (Maurizio Fagiolo Dell'Arco)
"The contrast of materials is significant: all that is in direct contact with the deceased, the coffin, Death, the papal statue itself is made of dark bronze. However allegories of the Virtues are in shining white marble: with their human qualities, especially Charity, they present themselves as mediators between the viewer and the pope. Bernini, surpassing the formal classicism of the sixteenth-century tombs, infuses new vitality and spectacular dynamism in the funereal theme: he creates the archetype of the Baroque tomb" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"Monument to Paul III" Farnese (1534/49) 1551/75 by Guglielmo Della Porta (1515/77) for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese
The base was originally the tomb of Bishop Francesco di Bagnoregio de Solis (d. 1545)
Statue on the left "Justice" in the likeness of Giulia Farnese, Paul III's sister, covered in 1595 with a white painted metal covering by Teodoro Della Porta (1567/1638) Guglielmo's son
Statue on the right "Prudence" in the likeness of Giovanella Caetani, mother of Paul III
Originally also "Abundance" and "Peace", now in the Palazzo Farnese, were part of the monument
Between the two statues precious "Mask" in the rare black marble portoro from the Farnese Gardens on Palatine Hill
It was the first monumental papal tomb to be erected in the Basilica
It was moved from the St. Andrew pier to this position in 1628 by Bernini
Giulia Farnese was known as Giulia Bella. She had jet-black eyes, long blonde dyed hair and white skin that apparently she used to show off sleeping only on black silk sheets. From the age of 15 she was for five years the lover of the then 58 years old Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia who later became Pope Alexander VI (1492/1503), although she had just married Orso Orsini who was suffering from excessive spots on his face and had only one eye
She became the official mistress of the pope and made sure that her little brother Alessandro was made cardinal. He was then nicknamed "Skirt cardinal" and became, in turn, pope under the name Paul III
Gioacchino Belli in a sonnet describes the reason for the censorship of the statue of Justice: an English gentleman (or perhaps a Spanish seminarian) was caught masturbating in front of the seductive nude
"It has been said that Guglielmo executed the work under the direction of Michelangelo. Beside the historical confirmation, Michelangelesque is the idea of the seated statue of the deceased and even more so the two allegories lying below, clear reminder of the Medici tombs in the New Sacristy of St. Lawrence in Florence" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
"It was inevitable that the chair was placed in between the tombs of two popes whose pontificates frame the active period of the Counter-Reformation. Nothing symbolizes more clearly the new Ecclesia Triumphans" (Howard Hibbard)
"Prophet Elijah" 1727 by Agostino Cornacchini (1683/1740)
"St. Dominic" 1706 by Pierre Legros (1666/1719)
"St. Benedict" 1735 by Antonio Montauti (1685/1740)
"St. Francis of Assisi" 1727 by Carlo Monaldi (about 1690/1760)
Under the statue "Plaque to commemorate the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception" on December 8, 1854
"S. Francis de Sales" 1845 by Adamo Tadolini (1788/1868)
"S. Francis Caracciolo" 1834 by Francesco Massimiliano Laboureur (1767/1831) and Innocenzo Fraccaroli
"S. Frances of Rome" 1850 by Pietro Galli (1804/77) pupil of Bertel Thorvaldsen
"S. Alfonso Maria de' Liguori" 1839 by Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869)
On the right "Tomb of Alexander VIII" Ottoboni (1689/91) 1725 Carlo Arrigo di San Martino for Card. Pietro Ottoboni grandnephew of the pope
Relief "Delivery of gifts during the canonization in 1690 of various saints, including S. Giovanni da Dio, Pasquale Baylon, Giovanni da S. Facondo and Lorenzo Giustiniani" by the Genoese Angelo De Rossi (1671/1715) who had also designed and modeled in stucco the statues of the pope and of the allegories made after his death by Giuseppe Bertosi (pope) e Giuseppe Raffaelli (on the left "Religion" and on the right "Prudence")
Behind the tomb of Alexander VIII there is the small OTTOBONI SACRISTY recently restored with "Bronze reliefs" and "Crucifix" 1972 by Francesco Messina (1900/95) and two seventeenth-century paintings by Francesco Perugini da Sermoneta
On the left mosaic "Sts. Peter and John heal a lame man" 1751/58 by Ottaviani, Cocchi, Enuò and Paleat from the original of the years 1746/49 by Francesco Mancini (1679/1758), now in the Hall of the Blessings
Begun by Jacopo Barozzi aka Vignola (1507/73) and completed by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602)
In the DOME of the chapel mosaics "Allegories and symbols of the Virgin" 1751/57 by Fattori, Gossoni, Regoli, Paleat, Ottaviani, Polverelli and Volpini from drawings by Giacomo Zoboli (1681/1767) of the year 1742
In the LUNETTES mosaics with "King David", "King Solomon", "Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus" and "Joseph's Dream"1643/44 by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62) from Viterbo, pupil of Pietro da Cortona, executed as mosaics in the years 1645/47 by G.B. Calandra and Guidobaldo Abbatini (1600/56)
In the PENDENTIVES mosaics with four doctors of the Church, "St. Germain" and "St. Bonaventure" by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647), "St. John of Damascus" and "St. Thomas Aquinas" by Andrea Sacchi (1599/1661) executed as mosaics in the years 1631/36 by G.B. Calandra
Venerated "Madonna" of the fifteenth century on a truncated column of portasanta marble formerly in the old Basilica. The beautiful marble frame was designed in 1581 by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602)
A copy of this image was made in mosaic substituting a window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter's Square at the behest of Pope John Paul II following the failed attack of May 13th, 1981
Christian sarcophagus of the fourth century containing the remains of popes Leo II (682/683), Leo III (795/816) and Leo IV (847/855) collected by Pascal II (1099/1118)
Altar with the relics of St. Leo the Great (440/461) with decorations by Francesco Borromini and marble altarpiece (the only one in the Basilica) "Leo the Great meets Attila the Hun" 1646/50 masterpiece of Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654) with the help of his pupil Domenico Guidi (1625/ 1701)
The body of S. Leo the Great was found intact in 1607 in the Vatican Grottoes, where it had been originally buried
"The interpretation of the event is simple and compelling: as in Raphael's, only the Pope and the King can see the miraculous appearance of the apostles and the division into three parts (left, right and upper part) is strictly maintained. One cannot but admire the psychological compositional logic and clarity. The unusual size (over 7 meters - 23 feet - in height) has often led to believe erroneously that his style is unprecedented, but in fact the history of the illusionistic relief dates from the early days of the Renaissance, Donatello and Ghiberti. In contrast, however, with the emphasis of the Renaissance relief, Algardi didn't try to create a coherent optical space and used mainly shades and projection of figures to produce the illusion of depth. More effective than the illusionistic painting, pictorial relief fulfilled the Baroque desire to erase the line between life and art, the viewer and the figure" (Rudolf Wittkower)
Marble circle in the floor with Tomb of Leo XII Sermattei (1823/29)
On the left "Apparition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque" 1921/24 mosaic by Carlo Muccioli (1857/1931)
It was the last major undertaking in the 1900s that replaced the painting on slate "Fall of Simon Magus" by Francesco Vanni. It should have been replaced by the one with the same subject by Pompeo Batoni, but it was never placed here and now is in the Basilica of S. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs. It was temporarily replaced by a copy of Vanni's painting executed by Pierre Charles Tremollière which is now also in the Basilica of the Angels and Martyrs
On the right spectacular "Tomb of Alexander VII" Chigi (1655/67) 1671/78 by Bernini with assistants for Cardinal Flavio Chigi, nephew of the Pope:
On the left "Charity" 1673/75 by Giuseppe Mazzuoli (1644/1725)
Behind the Charity "Bust of Prudence" begun by Giuseppe Baratta 1675/77 and finished by Giulio Cartari (active 1665/78)
On the right "Truth" 1673/77 begun by Lazzaro Morelli (1608/90) and finished by Giulio Cartari
It can't be a coincidence the fact that the allegory of Truth is trampling with her left foot Protestant England hated by Catholic Rome
Behind the Truth "Bust of Justice" 1676 by Giulio Cartari
"Alexander VII" 1675/76 by Michel Maille aka Michele Maglia (active in Rome in the second half of the seventeenth century) finished in 1677 by Giulio Cartari and Domenico Basadonna
Bronze parts by Girolamo Lucenti (?/1698) who also made with Filippo Carcani (active 1670/91) the bronze cloth of the Truth in 1678 after Innocent XI Odescalchi (1676/89) had complained about the nudity
The exceptional drape is made out of travertine executed by Lazzaro Morelli and Michel Maille covered in pink Sicilian jasper by Gabriele Renzi
The base of Portovenere marble has natural grains that support and integrate the mosaic work of the artist to obtain a material that, even if taken from nature, shows creative artificial connotations
Alexander VII was holding so much in mind the impending death that he used to sleep with his future coffin of lead under the bed
"In the late tomb of Alexander VII, Bernini emphasized the contrast between the transience of life (Death with hourglass) and the unflappable faith of the praying Pope. But this idea, which corresponded so well to the convictions of Bernini himself on the threshold of death, was too personal to get much following. When it was resumed during the 1700s, the idea was changed: Death was no longer counterbalanced by the certainty of salvation by faith and it would only terrorize the human race threatened to eternal destruction" (Rudolf Wittkower)
The passage under the monument of Alexander VII leads to the south exit of the basilica with the "Gate of Prayer" 1972 by Lello Scorzelli (1921/1997)
"This is the first part of the basilica completed while Michelangelo was still alive. The lining of the apse of this transect was carried out in 1558 under the direction of the Tuscan artist, and even if the attic was modified between 1605 and 1610, in the following years it was used as a model of architectural decoration for the entire building" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
Mosaic 1963 "St. Joseph with Baby Jesus" from the original 1962 tempera painting by Achille Funi (1890/1972)
Relics of the Apostles Sts. Simon and Jude in a sarcophagus of the fourth century from the Mausoleum of St. Constance
Ovals on the sides with mosaic portraits "St. Simon" and "St. Jude" 1858 from the 1822 original paintings by Vincenzo Camuccini (1771/1844)
The columns of the aedicula in red porphyry were recycled from the ciborium of the fifteenth century in the ancient basilica
On the sides of the central altar "Two monolithic columns" in giallo antico marble from Chemtou in Tunisia: with the other two in the opposite transept they are considered unique in the world in size and workmanship
To the right ALTAR OF St. THOMAS
Mosaic 1806/22 "Doubting Thomas" from original by Vincenzo Camuccini (1771/1844)
Under the altar relics of St. Boniface IV (608/615), the pope who consecrated the Pantheon to the Christian religion
Ovals to the sides with portraits in mosaic "S. Maria Domenica Mazzarello" and "S. Maddalena Gabriella di Canossa" of the nineteenth century
To the left ALTAR OF St. PETER
Traditionally considered the site of the upside down crucifixion of St. Peter and of his death
Mosaic "Crucifixion of St. Peter" from the 1604/05 original by Guido Reni (1575/1642) in the Pinacoteca Vaticana, originally painted for St. Paul at the Three Fountains
Under the altar body of St. Leo IX (1049/54) in a strigilated white marble sarcophagus
Ovals to the sides with portraits in mosaic "S. Lorenzo Ruiz" and "S. Antonio Maria Gianelli" of the nineteenth century
Stuccoes 1749 by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) and three medallions "Stories of Sts. Peter and Paul" by G.B. Maini (1690/1752)
"S. Giuliana Falconieri" 1740 by Pietro Paolo Campi (active 1702/40)
"S. Norberto" 1767 by Pietro Bracci (1700/73)
"S. Giovanni di Dio" 1745 by Filippo Della Valle (1698/1768)
"S. Pietro Nolasco" 1742 by Pietro Paolo Campi
"S. Angela Merici" 1866 by Pietro Galli (1804/77)
"S. Guglielmo di Vercelli" 1878 by Giuseppe Prinzi
"S. Maria di S. Eufrasia Pellettier" 1942 by Giovanni Nicolini (1872/1956)
"S. Luisa de Marillac" 1954 by Antonio Berti (1904/90)
On the right "Monument of Pius VIII" Castiglioni (1829/30) 1853/66 Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869) for the Cardinal Giuseppe Albani. Underneath sacristy entrance flanked by reliefs also by Tenerani: on the right "Prudence" and on the left "Justice"
Pius VIII wanted to abolish the nepotism of the popes, the Vatican's espionage and condemned all secret societies. He reigned only twenty months, and when he died at age 69, there were rumors of poisoning
On the left mosaic "Punishment of Ananias and Sapphira" 1721/28 by Pietro Adami from the 1606 original by Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio (1552/1626) now in St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs
The altar is known as the Altar of the Lie for the story of Ananias and Sapphira who, after selling a farm, had delivered to the apostles only a portion of the proceeds, claiming mendaciously to have supplied the full amount: for this lie they were killed by God
"The way the dramatic story was represented here through a few figures relatively quiet but powerful, without the multitude of people used by the Zuccaris' imitators, also seemed to indicate a new road for the altarpieces with historical subjects that had come to a standstill at that time both among the followers of the Zuccaris and among the imitators of Barocci. It is significant that Roman painting, just before the phenomenon of the Carraccis would be known in Rome, would generate similar phenomena alone" (Hermann Voss)
1592/1605 Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) for Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1592/1605)
In the DOME of the chapel mosaics "Angels, festoons and stories alluding to the dignity of the papacy and of the Aldobrandini family" 1599/1602 by fourteen mosaicists from drawings by Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio (1552/1626)
In the LUNETTES mosaics with "Prophet Malachi assisted by an angel" by Pietro Paolo Rossetti and Marcello Provenzale, "Prophet Daniel in the lions' den" by Pietro Paolo Rossetti and Marcello Provenzale, "Virgin Mary and St. Joseph" by Marcello Provenzale and "St. Elizabeth" by Ludovico Martinelli 1599/1603 from drawings by Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio
In the SPANDRELS mosaics with four doctors of the Greek and Latin Church, also represented in the Chair of St. Peter: "St. Ambrose", "St. Augustine", "St. John Chrysostom" and "St. Athanasius" 1599/1602 by fourteen mosaicists from drawings by Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio
Above the altar on the right mosaic "Miracle of St. Gregory the Great (590/604)" 1770/72 by Alessandro Cocchi, his son Filippo Cocchi and Vincenzo Castellini from the original by Andrea Sacchi (1599/1661)
The episode is actually originally attributed by the Christian tradition to St. Leo the Great: some princes had not valued important a relic of a piece of St. John the Evangelist's dalmatic (a tunic used by priests) and St. Gregory the Great would have cut it with a knife making blood flow from it to demonstrate its importance and veracity
From 1725 to 1784 in the chapel there were three large canvases by Pier Leone Ghezzi with "Stories of St. Clement" removed when the Sacristy was built. One of the three "The Drowning of St. Clement" is exhibited in the Pinacoteca Vaticana
In front "Tomb of Pius VII" Chiaramonti (1800/23) with in the upper part winged statues representing on the right "Time" and on the left "History"; the large statues represent on the right "Heavenly Wisdom" and on the left "Divine Force" 1823/31 by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770/1844) for Cardinal Ercole Consalvi
The architectural design was by Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839)
The choice of the Danish Thorvaldsen, the only Protestant artist to ever work in St. Peter, provoked much criticism also for the controversial choice of iconography: Heavenly Wisdom reading the Bible and pondering with a gesture of the finger on its meaning is certainly closer to a Protestant vision of Christianity than to a Catholic one
"The bloodless Spiritualism of the Danish sculptor, his thin Archaism, which later will have points in common with purist tendencies introduced by the Nazarenes in Rome, seemed to meet the demands posed by more rigorous theoretical ideals of beauty, by a longing for a beauty of which (as Winckelmann wrote) it could be said, as for water taken from a source that, the least it is tasty, meaning devoid of any foreign particle, the more healthy it is considered" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
On the left mosaic "Transfiguration" 1757/67 by Alessandro Cocchi assisted by eight mosaicists from the unfinished original of the years 1517/20 by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520). In order to make the mosaic, a copy was made in 1757 by Stefano Pozzi (1699/1768) of the masterpiece painted by Raphael
Under the altar with the Transfiguration there is since 2011, the crystal urn with the body of the Blessed Innocent XI Odescalchi (1676/89). It was exhumed in 1956 from his monument on the occasion of his beatification ceremony and placed under the altar of St. Sebastian, now occupied by the tomb of John Paul II
The entrance to the passage is topped by sculptures "Fame holds the coat of arms of Pope Innocent X Pamphili (1644/55)" by Luigi Bernini (1612/81) designed by his brother Gian Lorenzo Bernini
On the right "Monument to Leo XI" Medici (April 1605) 1634/44, shown to the general public only on 1652, by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654) for Cardinal Roberto Ubaldini, nephew of the pope
In the relief of the sarcophagus on the right "King Henry IV embraces the Catholic faith" and on the left "Ratification of the Vervins Peace in 1598" episodes in which the future pope, then still Cardinal Alessandro d'Ottaviano de' Medici papal nuncio in France, played a significant role
To the left of the monument statue "Magnanimity" by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86) and on the right "Liberality" by Giuseppe Peroni (about 1626/63) for Cardinal Roberto Ubaldini Leone XI's nephew
The fourteen roses carved in the relief should represent the number of days during which he was effectively pope, although his pontificate lasted in fact twenty-seven days
"Composition of undoubted derivation from the tomb of Urban VIII by Bernini conceived six years before, the tomb of Algardi however expresses his autonomous aesthetic-formal beliefs. Algardi avoided the use of polychrome marble and fully adopted the white Carrara marble perfectly smooth on surfaces as well as cold and uniform for the human skin. In addition, instead of dwelling on the idea of the transience of life, as found in the interpretation Bernini, he preferred to give the allegorical figures and Pope himself a moral ideal permanent condition, expressed by the composure of gestures and expressions. The overwhelming size of the figures compared to the structure indicate a classical stylistical preference" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
On the left "Monument to the Blessed Innocent XI" Odescalchi (1676/89) designed 1697/1701 by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713) and executed, perhaps reinterpreting Maratta's ideas, by Pierre-Étienne Monnot (1657/1733) for the pope's nephew Livio Odescalchi
On the right "Fortitude" and on the left "Religion"
The Pope's body is visible in the Clementine Chapel under the Transfiguration
"Elements derived both from Bernini and Algardi are gathered here: the tomb of Urban VIII was used as a model for the multicolored rendition, but for the types of allegory and narrative relief Monnot followed the tomb of Leo XI. He put the emphasis not on the sarcophagus itself, but on the pedestal of the statue of the pope. The inclusion of this pedestal made it necessary to reduce significantly the size of the figure of the pope in comparison to Algardi's one. The increased importance of the decorative elements at the expense of figures sheds light on the stylistic change from the Baroque to the late Baroque" (Rudolf Wittkower)
DOME OF THE VESTIBULE OF THE THIRD CHAPEL ON THE LEFT (Dedicated to glorification of God through music)
Mosaic in the DOME "Vision of the Apocalypse with Angels, the Elected Ones and the four beasts of the Tetramorphe surrounding and adoring the throne of the Eternal God" 1712/16 by Cocchi, Adami, Fattori, Ottaviani and De Rossi from the original designed at first by Ciro Ferri (1634/89), then, in the years 1699/1711, by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713), and in the years 1711/16 by the Bolognese Marcantonio Franceschini (1648/1729)
In the SPANDRELS mosaics with four singers of divine glories 1699/1703 by Giuseppe Conti:
"Daniel surrounded by lions while writing" and "Habakkuk and the Angel" from cartoons by Carlo Maratta
"David" and "Jonah" from cartoons by Ciro Ferri
In the LUNETTES mosaics with songs of praise, victories and tears from the Old Testament 1719/23 by Giuseppe Ottaviani and Prospero Glori:
"Moses in prayer on Mount Sinai supported by Aaron and Hur"
"The priest Azariah reproaches the King Uzziah" from cartoons by Nicolò Ricciolini (1687/1772)
"Judith delivering the head of Holofernes to hang it on the wall"
"The prophetess Deborah sent for Barak"
"Jeremiah weeping over the holy city"
"Deborah and Barak" from cartoons by Marcantonio Franceschini
In the DRUM four statues in stucco "Angels with Eucharistic symbols" in 1713 by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736)
Designed by Carlo Maderno (1556/1629)
The area of​​this chapel in the old basilica was known as the Sistine Chapel of St. Peter because Sixtus IV della Rovere (1471/84) had built it in 1477 and had it painted by Pietro Perugino. His grandiose tomb, executed by Antonio and Pietro Pollaiuolo remained here until 1635
Gate made out of iron, bronze and crystal 1758/60 by Giuseppe Giardoni
Ancient "Granite Urn" with relics of St. John Chrysostom who died in 407
In 2004 John Paul II gave some of the relics to the Patriarch of Constantinople
Stucco decoration 1626 by G.B. Ricci (about 1550/1624) and maybe by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)
Mosaic "Immaculate Conception along with Sts. Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padua and John Chrysostom" 1744/47 by Ottaviani, Onofri, Enuò and Paleat from the original of 1740 by Pietro Bianchi aka Creatura (1694/1740), a Roman student of Benedetto Luti and Baciccio, now in St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs
The lower part of the painting was completed in 1744 by Gaetano Sardi, Bianchi's student. The work had been exposed incomplete because the lower part was not very visible at the time anyway, being occluded by Michelangelo's Pieta which was located here
The image of the Virgin Mary was crowned on the 8th of December 1854 by Pope Pius IX on the occasion of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In 1904 nine stars were added around the crown, formed by precious diamonds donated by an international committee of wealthy ladies
On the walls "Paintings in monochrome with episodes from the Old and New Testament from Creation to the Baptism of Christ" 1762 by Giovanni Angeloni, Stefano Pozzi (1699/1768) and his brother Giuseppe Pozzi
Under the floor tomb of Clement XI Albani (1700/21)
"Chairs of the choir" in beautiful wooden marquetry by Bartolomeo De Rossi and G.B. Soria (1581/1651)
The organ dates back to 1626 remade by the Walker firm from Ludwigsburg
On the right "Memorial of St. Pius X" Sarto (1903/14) 1923 by Florestano Di Fausto (1890/1965), with statue by Pier Enrico Astorri (1882/1926)
Bas-reliefs on the door at the bottom with "Stories of St. Pius X" by Pier Enrico Astorri who also sculpted the large bronze reliefs on the sides of the door: on the right "Acceptance of the doctrine of the Church against the excessive modernism on the part of scholars" and on the left "Communion of children". Pius X promoted the practice of Communion and was known as the Pope of the Eucharist
He was canonized in 1954, the last pope to be declared a saint
On the left "Tomb of Innocent VIII" Cybo (1484/92) 1498 by Antonio Benci aka Antonio del Pollaiolo (about 1432/98) for Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo, nephew of the pope
Bronze bas-reliefs on the sides of the throne with "Cardinal Virtues: Justice and Fortitude on the left and Temperance and Prudence on the right. In the lunette "Theological Virtues: Charity in the middle, Faith on the left and Hope on the right
Before 1621 the sarcophagus was placed above the shelf in the upper part of the monument
The inscription in black stone beneath the monument dates back to the rearrangement of 1621 and mistakenly describes the discovery of America as occurred during his reign. Actually Innocent VIII died eight days after the departure of Christopher Columbus
"He holds the Holy Lance in his right hand, an important relic recovered from the Turks. This model tomb for a pope, for its powerful visual impact, had enormous success until the early 1800s" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"He represents the figure as a core of maximum intensity within a halo. The movement has the function of disarticulating the figure to hold the light at a rapid and discontinuous pace. Just because the line cannot have continuity of sign, it acts freely at all levels, making levitate and boil the material in the light" (Giulio Carlo Argan)
Mosaic in the DOME "Defeat of Lucifer and Coronation of the Virgin Mary above the choirs of angels" 1686/89 by Fabio Cristofari (about 1615/89) who left the job incomplete at his death
It was continued in the years 1704/17 by Giuseppe Conti and in the years 1717/25 by Del Pozzo, Gossoni, Ottaviani, Moretti, Clori and De Rossi from the original designed in the years 1675/86 by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713) and and his favorite pupil Giuseppe Chiari (1654/1727) who designed the Defeat of Lucifer
In the SPANDRELS four prophets who prefigured the Virgin Mary by Fabio Cristofari and Giuseppe Conti from cartoons by Carlo Maratta:
"Noah and the Ark and the Dove of Peace"
"Aaron incenses the congregation of Israel"
"Balaam showing the Star of Jacob"
"Gideon's mystical fleece wet with dew"
In the LUNETTES events of the Old Testament interpreted as premonitory of the Virgin Mary by Fabio Cristofari and Giuseppe Conti from cartoons by Carlo Maratta and Giuseppe Chiari:
"Judith with the Head of Holofernes"
"Jael, wife of Heber, pierces Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army"
"Joshua stopping the sun"
"The prophetess Miriam, the sister of Aaron, sings the liberation of the Israelites"
"Moses taking off his sandals before the burning bush"
"Isaiah invokes the cloud to let justice rain"
In DRUM four statues in stucco "Angels with Marian symbols" 1687 by Filippo Carcani (active 1670/91)
SECOND CHAPEL ON THE LEFT (Presentation of the Virgin)
On the altar mosaic "Presentation of Mary in the Temple" 1726/28 by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) from a model by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73), from the 1642 original by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62) now in the church of St. Mark in Milan
Under the altar body of St. Pius X Sarto (1903/14) in a 1952 urn of gilt bronze by Francesco Nagni (1897/1977)
On the right "Monument to John XXIII" Roncalli (1958/63) 1967 by Emilio Greco (1913/95)
"Simple and basic in its setting, the monument is characterized by the bronze bas-relief on which are narrated in a contracted and nervy manner, the most important moments of the pontificate of Pope John, both pastoral and human. The upper zone is animated by a Glory of angels, while the lower one refers to the presence of the pope among the suffering, the sick, and the imprisoned. In the background the silhouettes of miters and the figures of bishops lightly drawn remind of the event of the Second Vatican Council" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
On the left "Monument to Benedict XV" Della Chiesa (1914/22) 1928 by Luca Beltrami (1854/1933), architect of the Pinacoteca Vaticana, with statue by Pietro Canonica (1869/1959)
"The artist, refusing a celebratory representation, wanted to emphasize the human aspect of Benedict XV, recalling his work of condemnation of the war in vain repeated during the years of his pontificate. Modeled with finesse and deliberately devoid of solemn vestments, the pope is depicted in an attitude of prayer while begs the Regina Pacis against the horrors of war" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
In the middle of the floor "Coat of arms of John Paul II (1978/2005)" 1998 in the occasion of the restoration of the entire floor
On the right "Monument to Maria Clementina Sobieski" wife of James III Stuart, King of England and nephew of King John II of Poland. She died thirty years old in 1735 (the heart is in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles) 1742 Filippo Barigioni (about 1680/1753), a pupil of Carlo Fontana
Marble sculptures "Charity" and "Little angels" by Pietro Bracci (1700/73)
Metal parts by Giovanni Giardini (1646/1721)
Mosaic by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) from original by Ludovico Stern (1709/77) in the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh
On the left "Monument of the last Stuart" with portraits of James III (1688/1766), Charles Edward Count of Albany and Henry Duke of York and Bishop of Frascati 1817/19 by Antonio Canova (1757/1822) for King George V of England who, as Stendhal said, paid for the tomb of these princes whom he would have probably beheaded if he would have seized them
The actual tomb is in the Vatican Grottos commissioned in 1939 by the British King George VI
"Canova infused in his neoclassical inspiration, characterized by shades of a somewhat pagan character, a vitalizing Christian lyricism. The smoothness of the surface coating of marble links the various elements of the composition, the three Stuart busts and the two figures of the genii, with torches upside down, turning off the flame of life (...), symbolizing the peaceful Christian resignation in the face of death" (Alfredo Maria Pergolizzi)
James II, father of James III, was Duke of York before being King of England, Scotland and Ireland and, as Duke of York, he was commander of the Royal Navy. In 1644 the British captured the Dutch territory of New Netherlands and renamed it in his honor the most important city, which was formerly known as New Amsterdam, into New York
In the nineteenth century the two naked angels carved on the tomb were considered too scandalous and were provided with metal pants by Pietro Galli. They were eventually removed
"In 1850 Pietro Galli was appointed sculptor of the Reverend Fabric of St. Peter, where there were his marble statues of St. Frances of Rome and St. Angela Merici. In the same year Galli made in the Vatican a 'purification' job of covering those figures who could 'do offence to the natural honesty'. The statues deemed worthy of covering were: Charity of the monumental tombs by Bernini of Urban VIII and Alexander VII, the Genius of Canova's tomb of Clement XIII, the Genii of the cenotaph erect, also by Canova, for the last members of the royal Stuart family, the putti supporting the medallions with portraits of the popes on the piers commissioned by Innocent X" (Emanuela Bianchi - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Mosaic in the DOME "God the Father and Adam and Eve" 1738, "Desire baptism of the peoples longing for the baptism of purification" 1738/39, "Blood baptism of the martyrs" 1740/43, "Water baptism of St. John the Baptist" 1743 and "Glory of angels" 1744/45 carried out by the mosaicists Fattori, Gossoni, Fiani, Cardoni, Clori, Cocchi, Enuò and Onofri under the supervision of Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674/1755) and Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) from the originals begun by G.B. Gaulli aka Baciccio (1639/1709) but designed after his death in the years 1713/45 by Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746). The original cartoons are in the church of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs
In the SPANDRELS mosaics with four continents:
"Europe with triple crown" by Giuseppe Ottaviani
"America donning feathers and a quiver" by Giuseppe Ottaviani
"Africa with elephant" by Liborio Fattori
"Asia with the censer" by G.B. Brughi
In the LUNETTES mosaics with events of the Old and New Testament symbolizing or representing baptism:
"Noah gazing at the rainbow after the flood" by Nicola Onofri and Bernardino Regoli
"Moses drawing water from the rock" by Alessandro Cocchi and Bernardino Regoli
"Christ baptizes St. Peter" by Alessandro Cocchi and Giovanni Fiani
"St. Peter baptizing the Centurion Cornelius" by Nicola Onofri and Domenico Gossoni
"St. Philip baptizing the eunuch of Queen Candace" by Liborio Fattori and Pietro Cardoni
"St. Sylvester baptizes the Emperor Constantine" by Enrico Enuò and Silverio de Lellys
In the DRUM four statues in stucco with "Angels" 1712 by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736)
"Cover in gilt bronze with Trinity and Agnus Dei" by Carlo Fontana (1634/1714) executed by Lorenzo Ottoni (1648/1736) for the "Sarcophagus" in red Egyptian porphyry maybe for the Emperor Hadrian, later used as the tomb of Emperor Otto II and placed here in 1697
Carlo Fontana won the commission in 1692 after an invitation to tender in which more than twenty artists had participated. The work took five years first because of the refusal of his first project, rejected for the size and for the excessive costs and then because of an accident during transport: the basin of porphyry broke down and had to be repaired
Carlo Fontana blamed the rival Mattia De Rossi (1637/95) at the time chief architect of the basilica and one of the artists defeated by Fontana in the tender for the Baptistery
The structure is located in a concavity in the floor created in 1725 at the behest of Benedict XIII Orsini (1724/30) to recall the ancient Christian tradition linked to the symbolism of full-immersion baptism
At the center mosaic "Baptism of Christ" 1730 by G.B. Brughi (1660/1730) and 1731/34 by Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743) with the help of Giuseppe Ottaviani from the original of the years 1696/98 by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713) in S. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs
On the right mosaic "Baptism of Sts. Processus and Martinian" begun in 1726 by G.B. Brughi and completed in 1737 by Pietro Paolo Cristofari from the original of the years 1710/11 by Giuseppe Passeri (1654/1714), Carlo Maratta's favorite student
On the left mosaic "St. Peter Baptizing the Centurion Cornelius" 1730/37 by Pietro Paolo Cristofari and his brother Filippo Cristofari from the 1710 original by Andrea Procaccini (1671/1734), another student of Maratta
In the SMALL DOME stucco with "God the Father Blessing" 1699 by Carlo Giorgio Roncati and monochrome paintings with "Angels with chandeliers" by Paolo Albertoni
1776/84 Carlo Marchionni (1702/86)
To build the old church S. MARIA DELLA FEBBRE (St. Mary of the Fever) was demolished, so called for a holy image that was considered protective against malaria. The church building was one of two funerary mausoleums of the fourth century AD built on the side of the basilica and was also known as the ROTONDA DI S. ANDREA (Rotunda of St. Andrew). The other mausoleum was the ROTONDA DI S. PETRONILLA (Rotunda of St. Petronilla)
In the common sacristy (not open to public) paintings by Federico Zuccari, Giovanni Francesco Penni (about 1496/1528), Giulio Romano (1499/1546) and Andrea Sacchi

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