The Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli

Edited by Gabriele Bartolozzi Casti
Translated by Fred Sengmueller
Collana: Fuori collana
Pubblicazione: Dicembre 2014
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Edizione cartacea
pp. 104, 64 ill. col., 16x24 cm, bross.
ISBN: 9788867283514
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The Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli is more than just a building of great beauty and majesty. It is also one of the most complex and chronologically complete Renaissance and modern urban archaeological structures in Rome. It stands on top of the Esquiline Hill north of the Colosseum not far from the baths of Trajan and near the area once occupied by the Domus Aurea. The layers underlying the basilica date as far back as Early History and run through the Republican and Classical Ages up to late Antiquity. The building bears important traces of medieval restoration work but most remarkable are interventions undertaken during the Renaissance by the great cardinals who were titulars of the basilica and who deeply loved and honored it. Some of these men became celebrated popes such as Sixtus IV (1471-1484), Julius II (1503-1513) and later Pius IX (1846-1878). Signs of their powerful interventions may still be admired today.
Upon entering the basilica one is immediately struck by the two rows of mighty Doric columns dividing the wide central nave from the aisles. The building is home to celebrated works of art such as the tomb of Julius II with Michelangelo’s Moses, the mosaic icon of St. Sebastian from the end of the VII century, the confession or Crypt with its precious case containing Saint Peter’s chains after which the basilica is named. There are also numerous painting and sculptures attributed to artists like Jacopo Coppi, Guercino, Domenichino, Pomarancio, Giovanni Battista Parodi, Mino da Fiesole.

  • Preface (p. 7)
  • I. The Church’s Site (p. 11)
  • II. The Buildings that Preceded the Church (p. 12)
    • 1. The Republican Domus (p. 12)
    • 2. The Imperial Domus (p. 14)
    • 3. The Apsidal Hall (p. 16)
  • III. The Early Christian Basilica (p. 18)
    • 1. The First Construction (p. 18)
    • 2. The Church Rebuilt (p. 20)
    • 3. Medieval Interventions (p. 22)
  • IV. The Baptistery (p. 26)
  • V. The Cult of the Chains and the Church’s Name (p. 30)
    • 1. The Location of the Chains in the Basilica (p. 31)
  • VI. The Confessio or Crypt (p. 32)
    • 1. The Sarcophagus of the Maccabees (p. 33)
    • 2. The Reliquary of the Holy Chains (p. 37)
    • 3. The Reliquary Doors (p. 38)
  • VII. The Mosaic Icon of St. Sebastian (p. 40)
    • 1. Critical Analysis (p. 42)
    • 2. The Original Location of the Mosaic (p. 45)
    • 3. The Fresco on the Right (p. 45)
    • 4. Renewal of the Votive Complex (p. 48)
    • 5. The New Altar (p. 48)
  • VIII. Major Interventions from the 15th Century to the Present Day (p. 50)
  • IX. The 15th-Century Altar of the Holy Chains (p. 53)
  • X. The Tomb of Julius II (p. 55)
    • 1. The Story behind the Monument (p. 56)
    • 2. The Monument (p. 57)
  • XI. Pictorial Decorations of the Apse (p. 62)
  • XII. The Paintings on the Altars (p. 65)
    • 1. St. Augustine in Meditation (p. 65)
    • 2. The Liberation of St. Peter from Prison (p. 66)
    • 3. Lament over the Dead Christ (p. 67)
    • 4. St. Margaret of Antioch (p. 68)
  • XIII. The Ceiling and Decorations of the Central Nave (p. 70)
    • 1. The Ceiling (p. 70)
    • 2. The Miracle of the Chains (p.72 )
  • XIV. The Organ (p. 73)
  • XV. The Sacristy (p. 75)
    • 1. General Information and Patrons (p. 75)
    • 2. The Floors (p. 78)
    • 3. The Frescoes (p. 82)
    • 4. The Chapel (p. 85)
  • XVI. Appendix (p. 89)
    • Digital Methods for Graphic Reproductions (p. 89)
  • References (p. 92)
  • Bibliography and Abbreviations (p. 95)
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