Baroque in the Vatican Throughout the ages, civilizations around the world have expressed themselves through various kinds of art such as dance, music, painting, and architecture. Styles of art vary from culture to culture, and over time each style evolves into something completely new. In the mid sass’s, there was a change in culture that completely reshaped the European world. Known as the Renaissance, individuals persevered to recreate, and reinterpret the forgotten knowledge and accomplishments of the past. However, as time went on, culture began to change once again.
What came out of the Renaissance was an extravagant style most commonly known as the Baroque. Unlike the Renaissance, which striver to meet realism in all its likeness, the Baroque was a hyperbole of reality, bringing in a major sense of theatricality through the synthesizing of various medias. The Baroque period finished what the Renaissance started, and evidence of this is found in SST. Pewter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It is regarded as one of the holiest sites in the world and is described as “the greatest of all churches of Christendom. It uniquely displays both the Baroque fashion and inundations of the previous Renaissance. After Emperor Constantine officially recognized Christianity, he began the construction of the great basilica in the year of 324 AD in the exact location that it stands today. After its completion, several hundred years went by and in the 15th century, it was decided that the old basilica was to be rebuilt. Under the reign of Pope Julius II, reconstruction began on the current building in the year of 1506.
During the Renaissance, esteemed artist Michelangelo became the main architect in 1546, when he designed the dome of SST. Pewter’s Basilica. It is believed to be one of Michelangelo finest pieces of work, and unfortunately it was also one of his last. The great double dome is made of brick and rises to a total height of 448 Ft from the floor of the basilica to the top of the external cross. It is the tallest dome in the world. The exterior is surrounded by a massive order of Corinthian pillars, emphasizing that realistic notion of the Renaissance.
What is unique about this dome is that Michelangelo did not make it a hemisphere, but a parabola. Designed with all the beauty and decor that this age had to offer, the dome of SST. Pewter’s, the greatest dome in Christendom, represents the brilliant ingenuity of the Renaissance. Forty years passed since the death of Michelangelo and on the first day of Lent, February 18, 1606, the demolition of the remaining parts of the Constantine basilica began. The tombs of various popes were opened, treasures were removed and final plans were made for the new basilica.
Pope Paul V commissioned Carlo Modern to pick up where Michelangelo left off, and having enormous shoes to fill, Modern completed the magnificent facade, the front entrance of the new basilica. As a memorable piece of work, the facade stands 149 Ft high and 376 Ft wide, built of travertine stone. Approaching this massive entrance, soaring Corinthian columns pull your eyes upon 13 classical statues standing on top of the faded, all beautifully shaped with Baroque theatricality and expressions that resemble lifelike characteristics stressed in the Renaissance.
As Christ is centered in front over a colossal pediment, he is accompanied by eleven disciples and John the Baptist. Representing the transition from the Renaissance into the Baroque, the faded alone remains Just a single portion of this grand masterpiece. In 1629, Genealogies Bernie is appointed as Modern’s successor by Pope Urban VIII and at last we arrive in the Baroque era. Bernie was to become regarded as the greatest architect and sculptor of the Baroque period as he completed the phenomenally extravagant Piazza did San Pitter, or SST.
Pewter’s Square. Executed between 1656 and 1667, this vastly open court measures to be 1,115 feet long and 787 feet wide, surrounded by a colonnade of 248 columns, each 64 Ft tall. At such a colossal scale, this enormously over-sized court and over the top decor, reflects the essence of Baroque fashion. To further exaggerate everything, standing on the rim of each of the inner columns are 140 larger-than-life statues of different saints, each uniquely made with precise expressions reflecting that deep drama emphasized in the Baroque.
The part of the colonnade that is around the ellipse does not completely encircle it, but reaches out in two arcs, which represents the arms of “the Roman Catholic Church reaching out to welcome its communicants. ” The center of this piazza is an obelisk, known as “The Witness”, at a total height of 130 Ft, including base and the cross on top, it is the second largest standing obelisk, and the only one o remain standing since its removal from Egypt and re-erection at the Circus of Nero in 37 AD, where it is believed to have bore witness to the crucifixion of SST Peter.
On each side of the obelisk are two beautiful fountains, one designed by Modern (1613) and the other by Bernie (1675) which was built as a counterbalance. Bering’s piazza is a marvelous example of Baroque excellence. Every aspect is furnished with extraordinary detail and each statute dramatically presented, bringing that overwhelming sense of intense theatricality. After you have rested from the intense experience of the grand entrance, at last e enter into the great basilica.
As you slowly take your steps inside, your mind will get lost as the luscious splendor of this grandeur interior throws you in circles. “The first burst of the interior, in all its expansive majesty and glory: and, most of all, the looking up into the Dome; is a sensation never to be forgotten. ” – Charles Dickens, 1846 Covering an area 5. 7 acres, it has a capacity to hold over 60,000 people, making it the largest church in the world. From the floor to the ceiling, the interior is laced with intricate detail, and luxurious design.
Every bit of space is used to display the nines of Renaissance/Baroque monuments and decoration money could buy, employing the talents of those greats as Michelangelo and Bernie. Starting from the entrance, along the columns are niches housing 39 statues of various saints. In the right aisle, the first major sight is Michelangelo beautiful Pieta. Regarded as one of Christendom greatest sculptures, the Petite¤ resembles the young Virgin Mary caught in a moment of sorrowful rumination as she holds the lifeless body of Jesus in her arms. The proportionally correct lifelike features make this a masterpiece of
Renaissance perfection. Michelangelo Petite¤ transformed the Renaissance from a devotional image into a monumental statement on the meaning of Christian sacrifice. As your pulled deeper into the basilica in away of its beauty, your eyes become fixed on a single vanishing point designed at the end of this colossal hallway. Astonished, you will find Bering’s magnificent bellyaching, a monumental canopy that shelters the papal altar and the holy relics of SST. Peter. Ingeniously, it also serves to fill the vertical space under Michelangelo great dome, making it the visual center of the silica.
The canopy reaches a peak of 90 Ft, and the spiral columns a height of 65 Ft. It is composed of 927 tons of dark bronze and is furnished with gold leaves. The sheer mass of the bellyaching may seem irrelevant but it is a resemblance of that exaggeration in Baroque style, along with the unnecessary need for such elaborate gold floral designs. Being the first of Bering’s works in SST. Pewter’s, he incorporated a vast mixture of sculpture and architecture. Angels are also consistent throughout the monument, giving an overall effect of the Ark of the Covenant.
The bellyaching represents an important development in the Baroque design of interiors and furnishing. SST. Pewter’s Basilica uniquely holds the best of each age, both the Renaissance and the Baroque. It was constructed over a period of several hundred years by the world’s most renowned artists. Together, they created a timeless masterpiece rebirth out of the Renaissance, and matured through the Baroque. Over half a millennium later, it remains one of the holiest sites in the world and has captured the marvelous beauty of the Renaissance and Baroque that is celebrated every day.
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