Sunday, February 1, 2015


Built in 1761 as an open loggia on both sides and closed in the years 1785/88 by Michelangelo Simonetti (1724/87) and Giuseppe Camporese (1763/1822) for Pius VI Braschi (1775/99)
80 m (262 feet) long

It was decorated in the years 1883/87 for Leo XIII Pecci (1878/1903) in the first three bays by the Roman Domenico Torti (XIX century) and Annibale Angelini (1812/84) from Perugia:

In the middle of the vault of the second bay:

“Arts pays homage to Religion” with curious inclusion of the allegory of Photography represented holding an old-fashioned camera

In the side areas:

In the middle of the vault of the third bay:

The remaining bays were painted by the Roman Ludovico Seitz (1844/1908), son of the German Nazarene painter Alexander Maximilian Seitz, who continued the work after the death of Torti and Angelini

In the middle of the vault of the fourth bay:

In the side areas:

The spectacular inlaid marble floor has been put together by Luigi Medici, his son Paolo Medici and Giuseppe Rinaldi under the direction of the architect Cav. Mannucci for Leo XIII using marbles found during excavations at the ancient trading port of the Tiber River in Testaccio

The “Coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII” in the middle of the gallery was made using precious lapis lazuli the cost of which in ancient times was comparable to that of gold as the only known mines were those of Sar-e-Sang in Badakhshan, a region of Afghanistan, also mentioned by Marco Polo

The gallery takes its name from the pairs of ancient marble candlesticks placed in the arches

“In the history of collecting and evolution of places for collections, the gallery reflects the shift from humanistic introspection, well represented by the 'private space' of the studiolo (little studio), to the late-Renaissance taste for exposure that results in the creation of a 'public' and representative environment intended to mark a path of self-celebration of the patron. In Italy the galleries were born in the mid-sixteenth century and the first in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to be built was that the one of the maps” (Andrea Pomella)

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