Sunday, October 6, 2013


Sacre Grotte Vaticane
Fourteenth century fresco "Madonna with Child" Pietro de' Cerroni aka Pietro Cavallini (about 1240/1325) formerly in the atrium of the old St. Peter's Basilica
"Reliefs from the old Ciborium in St. Peter's Basilica" 1471/78 maybe by a Florentine Master close to Antonio Rossellino or Roman Master close to Mino da Fiesole or Paolo Taccone aka Paolo Romano for the Cardinal G.B. Mellini
In the niches "Statues of the Apostles" maybe by Matteo del Pollaiolo, Giovanni Dalmata and Mino da Fiesole
On the left chapel where until May 2011 it was placed the tomb of John Paul II (1978/2005) in the bare ground under the relief "Madonna with Child and Two Angels" maybe by Luigi Capponi (active end of 1400s/beginning of 1500s). Until 2000 it had kept the body of John XXIII (1958/63), moved in the Basilica below the altar of Saint Jerome
Also on the left tomb of Christina Queen of Sweden (1626/89) and, on the right, the one of Carlotta of Savoy Lusignano Queen of Cyprus (1444/87)
Still on the right tomb of Benedict XV Della Chiesa (1914/22) and, opposite, the one of Innocent IX Facchinetti (1591)
Further ahead tomb of Marcellus II (1555), facing the tomb of John Paul I (1978)
On the left tomb of Paul VI Montini (1963/78)
Further ahead more tombs:
Innocent VII (1404/06)
Niccolò V Parentucelli (1447/55) maybe by Paolo Taccone aka Paolo Romano (about 1415/77)
Niccolò III Orsini (1277/80)
Boniface VIII Caetani (1294/1303), Pope of the first Jubilee Year: it is a part of the monument built shortly before 1300 by Arnolfo di Cambio (about 1245/1302)
"With his full and firm shape and his fine and sensitive mouth reaches a higher quality than any other papal portrait of his times" (Richard Krautheimer)
"Statue of Pius VI" Braschi (1775/99) kneeling in prayer. It was begun by Antonio Canova (1757/1822) who executed the hands and the head. It was completed, after the death of Canova, by his pupil Adamo Tadolini (1788/1868)
The pope is buried in an early Christian sarcophagus. The statue was in the confession of the Church until 1969 when a crazed German tourist with a hammer damaged hands and other parts of the work that was quickly restored
From the right nave it is possible to see the monuments in the left nave:
Tomb of Pius XI Ratti (1922/39)
Tomb of Cardinal Merry del Val
Tombs of the last members of the House of Stuart monarchs of Scotland from 1371 until 1707 and monarchs of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1603 to 1707
Tombs of the popes Innocent XIII Conti (1721/24), Urban VI (1378/89), Hadrian IV (1154/59) the only English pope ever, Gregory V (996/999) who died 25 years old, grandson of the German Emperor Otto II, Julius III Ciocchi del Monte (1550/55)
Tomb of the German Emperor Otto II
"Tomb of Paul II" Barbo (1464/71) 1475/77 Mino da Fiesole (1429/84) and Giovanni Duknovich aka Giovanni Dalmata (about 1440/1510)
Two fragments of the tomb, which was originally 10 x 5 m (32 x 16 feet) and placed in front of the Casino Borghese are now in the Louvre. It was the most monumental and the richest ever made for a pope to date
Also tombs of Cardinal Jean de Bilhères de Lagraulas ambassador of the French King Charles VIII and patron of the "Pietà" by Michelangelo and tomb of Cardinal Berardo Eroli made by Giovanni Dalmata

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