Media Information

 
 
 
Collection:
ADJUNCT MODULE A: ITALIAN ART
Preferred Title:
Cathedra Petri
Alternate Title:
Chair of Saint Peter
Image View:
Detail of gilded stucco clouds, rays and putti at top of window
Creator:
Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian sculptor, 1598-1680)
Location:
repository: Saint Peter's (Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano) (Rome (Vatican City), Santa Sede (Holy See), Italy)
Location Note:
Piazza di San Pietro
GPS:
41.902222 12.453333
Date:
1657-1666 (creation)
Cultural Context:
Italian
Style Period:
Baroque
Work Type 1:
sculpture (visual work)
Work Type 2:
window
Work Type 3:
reliquary
Classification:
sculpture
Material:
gilded stucco; bronze; painted glass; alabaster; black marble; red jasper
Technique:
carving (processes); casting (process); stained glass
Measurements:
5 m (height, statues of Doctors of the Church)
Description:
The new pope Alexander VII revived a scheme, first discussed under Urban VIII, to build a monumental reliquary in the apse of St. Peter’s for the apostle’s throne. The Cathedra Petri, an immense work, perfectly proportioned to the vast dimensions of the apse and visually framed from the nave by the columns of the baldacchino, provides the climax to Bernini’s work in the basilica. High above the altar, the great bronze throne (encasing the relic) of Peter seems to hover in midair. A relief showing Christ’s charge to Peter, Feed my Sheep, decorates the chair back, while above, two putti support the papal keys and tiara. Below the throne, on a great base of black Sicilian marble and red jasper, stand colossal, gilt-bronze statues of two Greek and two Latin Doctors of the Church: St Ambrose, St Athanasius, St John Chrysostom and St Augustine. The throne is enveloped behind and below by a bank of gilded stucco clouds that have descended from the zone above. There, in the center of an oval window, painted on the glass and radiating a brilliant aureole of yellow light, is the Dove of the Holy Spirit, surrounded by gilded stucco clouds and angels amid a burst of golden rays. As in many of his projects, Bernini incorporated a light source into the work to convey the mystical nature of the event. (Source: Grove Art Online; http://www.oxfordart online.com/)
Collection:
Adjunct Module A: Italian Art
Identifier:
1A1-BG-AG-A11
Rights:
© Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc.

Cathedra Petri