It's huge in both scale and history, and it can be overwhelming. But with Jane
guiding you through this magnificent church -- appreciating it
step-by-step in the context of its long and tumultuous history – you
will come away with a deep and lasting appreciation of the essence of
this remarkable place.
Smart Art Guide to St Peter's is certainly one of the most useful works
on the basilica. … I'm quite impressed and delighted. I often look for
the mistakes so often found in the guide books, but I'm having a
difficult time finding any [in Jane’s audio guide].”
- Works by Giotto, Michelangelo, and Bernini;
- Materials and art salvaged from the original 4thC basilica;
- Five centuries of exemplary sculpture;
- Work in bronze, marble, stucco, mosaic, and gilding; and
- A fascinating marriage of Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
To review the companion booklet, click here.
The Vatican’s Basilica of St. Peter was inevitably at the center of the
ebb and flow of western Christendom’s political, social, religious and
cultural development. Under construction for more than 150 years, it
has been witness to physical and spiritual neglect, the devastating
Sack of Rome, Reformations, and papal corruption and self-interest, as
well as exemplary spiritual humility.
For almost half a millennium, Michelangelo’s spectacular dome has
soared over the Vatican, the most recognized landmark of all among the
many domes of Rome’s skyline. In the vast, awe-inspiring wonder of the
interior of St. Peter’s, what could easily have been overwhelming
volume and mass has been scaled into an accessible frame of human
reference by the perfect relationships among the architectural
components. The profusion of decorative elements, because of the sheer
massiveness of scale, serves to unify the parts, creating harmony
rather than chaos.