Bernini’s Baroque Monument in St. Peter’s Basilica: Pope Alexander VII

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica, seen from a ...
Image via Wikipedia
English: Bernini's "Gloria" surmount...

English: Bernini’s “Gloria” surmounting the “Cathedra Petri”, also by him. Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Side View of Tomb of Alexander VII, d...

English: Side View of Tomb of Alexander VII, designed by Gianlorenzo Bernini, 1671-8, St Peter’s, Vatican City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Detail of the Tomb of Alexander VII, ...

English: Detail of the Tomb of Alexander VII, St Peter’s, Vatican City. Design by Gianlorenzo Bernini, 1671-8 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sculptural monument designed by Berni...

English: Sculptural monument designed by Bernini and situated in St Peters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Wide angle View of the altar inside S...

English: Wide angle View of the altar inside St. Peter’s Basilica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tomb of Fabio Chigi, Pope Alexander VII

The tomb of Fabio Chigi, Pope Alexander VII (Photo credit: Northfielder)

Allegory of Prudence by Angelo De Rossi on the...

Allegory of Prudence by Angelo De Rossi on the monument of Pope Alexander VIII (1689-1691) (Photo credit: mharrsch)

Il baldacchino di san Pietro del Bernini, in s...

Il baldacchino di san Pietro del Bernini, in san Pietro in Vaticano. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chair of Saint Peter

Chair of Saint Peter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A 5x6 segment panoramic image taken b...

English: A 5×6 segment panoramic image taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8L lens from the dome of St Peter’s in Vatican City in Rome. Français: Image panoramique composée de 5×6 photos prises par David Iliff à l’aide d’un appareil Canon 5D et une lentille 70-200mm f/2.8L à partir du dôme de la Basilique Saint-Pierre au Vatican. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Bernini's baldacchino, inside Saint P...

English: Bernini’s baldacchino, inside Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: St. Peter's Basilica - Baroque Baldac...

English: St. Peter’s Basilica – Baroque Baldachin of Bernini Italiano: Basilica di San Pietro – baldachino di Bernini Polski: Barokowy baldachim z brązu w bazylice watykańskiej (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Vatican has the oldest and widest collection of priceless art in the world. The Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica are brimming with masterpieces.

One of my favorite Bernini treasures is at St. Peter’s Basilica. Bernini’s breathtaking monument of Pope Alexander VII was completed in 1678 when Bernini was 80 years old. Pope Alexander VII commissioned Bernini to enclose St. Peter’s Square with the famous colonnade.

Bernini

Bernini's Pope Alexander VII

This sculpture memorializes the Pope‘s life and like all funeral monuments it depicts important virtues that the Pope practiced during his life. In the sculpture, the Pope is surrounded by opulent marble allegorical figures that represent: Truth, Justice, Charity and Prudence. Just like a pope, it’s a good idea to practice these “Virtues” on a daily basis.

Bernini's Truth with her foot on the GlobeBernini

“Charity” has a child in her arms. Notice that the figure of “Truth” has her foot on a globe. There is a  thorn projecting from England on Bernini’s globe.  This is because King Henry VIII,  (King of England) decided to abandon the Catholic Church when they would not grant him a divorce which ultimatelly spawned the Anglican Church.  The pope attempted to quell the growth of Anglicanism in England but he was not successful. The Pope’s struggle is immortalized by Bernini’s globe.

Bernini's Pope Alexander VII

Bernini’s guilded bronze skeleton of “Death” is  holding an hour-glass in front of “Truth.”  We are reminded that our days are numbered. Watch this YouTube video of Bernini’s work http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX0KOPcMC3Y&NR=1

To learn more about Rome read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides by Dr. EveAnn Lovero and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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