Evolution of St. Peter's Basilica


First conceived by Pope Nicholas V in 1450, the construction of the new St. Peter's Basilica took several centuries to complete, recruiting the best artists in Rome. The collection explores interventions to the basilica made in the Baroque period.

Collection Items

Alberti's Plan
Commissioned by Pope Nicholas V in 1450, Alberti’s plan was remake the city of Rome, with Saint Peter's at the center. With the nave left intact, the other three arms would be rebuilt, of equal lengths, and a dome would cover the crossing. Wanting to…

Antonio da Sangallo's plan
Sangallo's plan presented a major cross and four lesser crosses, all surrounded by domes. His plan was a compromise between a Greek and a Latin cross. Three ends of the cross became apses. Bell towers at the ends of the facade rose to the same height…

Vatican Obelisk
The movement of the ancient obelisk to in front of St. Peter's basilica was considered an engineering feat whose success helped the Church assert its superiority and glory in the face of the Reformation movement.
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