JUBILEE CULTURAL ROUTES

St. Peter’s Basilica

You are along the route: THE AGE OF THE GREAT MASTERS. ROME AND THE RENAISSANCE

FACCIATA BASILICA Alternativa
Piazza San Pietro
www.vaticanstate.va
Every day. Winter (October-March): 07:00-18:00. Summer (April-September): 7:00-19:00. Free entry.

Foto ©Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano

FILARETE

The enormous bronze door to the ancient basilica of St. Peter’s was commissioned by Pope Eugene IV and built between 1439 and 1445 by the Florentine, Filarete. After the sixteenth century reconstruction of the basilica, the door was remounted as the central entrance of the five facing the portico and bands were added to the top and bottom to adapt it to the dimensions of the new building. The door has six large panels with figures of the Virgin, the Saviour and episodes involving Peter and Paul, punctuated by four horizontal bands with scenes from the pontificate of Eugene IV; around each panel runs a band of floral decoration with scenes and characters from history and classical literature.

Foto ©Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano

BASSA RISOLUZIONE pietà 004

Sculpted between 1497 and 1499 and signed on the band that runs along the torso of the Virgin, this was Michelangelo’s first public work in Rome and is located in the first chapel on the right. The iconography of the Virgin with her dead son in her lap, rather unusual in Italy but common beyond the Alps, was used by Michelangelo to blend the classical dimension and the deep emotion aroused by the scene into one sculpture. The pained expression of resigned and composed desolation of the Mother is encapsulated in the eloquent gesture of her left hand, which shows the sacrifice of Jesus and invites the faithful to meditate on the mystery of the Redemption. The proportions of the two figures are not natural because the purpose was so much narrative as symbolic. The extreme smoothness and workmanship of the marble is strikingly beautiful.

Foto ©Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano


How to get the step: St. Peter’s Basilica

Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

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