Monday, October 20, 2014



Northern part of the Cortile del Belvedere (Belvedere Courtyard) by Donato Bramante (1444/1514) originally 300 m (984 feet) long and 70 m (230 feet) wide, built for Julius II Della Rovere (1503/13)
 Julius II wanted to connect the Palazzetto del Belvedere (Palace of the Belvedere) built for Innocent VIII Cybo (1484/92) in about 1487 by Giacomo da Pietrasanta (active since 1452/d. about 1497) on the north to the Vatican Palace on the south

“Giacomo da Pietrasanta worked on the construction of the Villa Belvedere in the Vatican for Innocent VIII, besides having designed the equipment for the ceremony of his coronation and directed the restoration of the Lateran Palace. Doubt is, however, his role within this site, which lasted from 1484 to 1487 (Edit de Campos). According to Giorgio Vasari, the designer of the project was Antonio Benci aka Pollaiuolo, although the construction work 'was conducted by others, because he did not have much practice in walls' building'. The most recent studies attribute the building site management to Baccio Pontelli (Tafuri, 1995), or to Giovannino (Giovanni) Dolci (Frommel, 1998), and to Giacomo the conducting work of the villa in a more general way” (Sara Magister - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)

The Cortile del Belvedere was later divided into three parts by the Library Wing of Sixtus V Peretti (1585/90) and the New Wing of Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800/23)

Besides the courtyard of the Pine Cone it also includes the large Cortile del Belvedere in the south, which improperly kept the original name and the small Cortile della Biblioteca (Library courtyard) at the center

Nicchione (Big Niche) 1562/65 built by Pirro Ligorio (about 1513/83) fifty years after the death of Bramante, who had designed it

“Bronze Pine Cone” signed Publius Cincius Salvio from the area of the Baths of Agrippa, maybe fountain in the Temple of Isis
It was eventually placed in the atrium of the old Basilica of St. Peter
It gave the name to the central neighborhood called Rione Pigna, where the Temple of Isis was originally located
Under the Pine Cone there is a “Capital with coronation of a victorious athlete” third century AD from the Neronian-Alexandrian Baths

Copies of “Bronze peacocks” maybe from the Mausoleum of Hadrian. The originals are in the New Wing of the Chiaramonti Museum
“Two crouching lions in basalt” with the name of the pharaoh Nectanebo II (360/343 BC)
In the inscription is written that they come from Rehuy, perhaps the ancient Hermopolis Parva in the Delta of the Nile River, the city today known as Tell Baqliya
They were found approximately in 1435
They were placed in front of the Pantheon at the behest of Clement VII Medici (1523/34) and in 1586 they were used as decoration of the Fountain of the Acqua Felice by the will of Sixtus V Peretti (1585/90)
In 1839 they were replaced by copies in the decoration of the fountain and were moved here

By the side of the Chiaramonti Museum “Colossal head of Augustus”
It was maybe the head of an acrolito (a statue with the exposed parts of the body in marble and the rest in wood covered with metal, perhaps gilded bronze) maybe posthumous and maybe originally placed in the Hall of the Colossus in the Forum of Augustus

In the center of the courtyard “Sphere” 1990 by Arnaldo Pomodoro (1926): the size is equivalent to the ball at the top of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica

Similar spheres are in front of the UN headquarters in New York, at Trinity College in Dublin, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran Iran, at the American Republic Insurance Company in Des Moines Iowa, at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus Ohio, at the University of California Berkeley, at the Farnesina Palace in Rome and on the promenade in Pesaro in the Marche region of Italy

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