St. Peter's Baldachin, Vatican City - Tracy McCrackin Photography

St. Peter's Baldachin, Vatican City

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Inside Vatican City, is the world famous, St. Peter's Basilica.  Inside the Basilica resides a stunning alter known as St. Peter's Baldachin.  Designed by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, it was intended to mark the place of St. Peter's tomb underneath. Under its canopy is the high altar of the basilica.

Commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the work began in 1623 and ended in 1634. The bronze and gilded baldachin was the first of Bernini's works to combine sculpture and architecture and represents an important development in Baroque church interior design.

The canopy rests upon four helical marble columns.  The columns support a cornice which curves inwards.  Above this, four twice lifesize angels stand at the corners.  Behind whom four large volutes rise up to a second smaller cornice which in turn supports the gilded cross on a sphere, a symbol of the world redeemed by Christianity.

Fascinatingly, the four columns are 20 metres or 66 feet high. Their helical form was derived from the smaller marble helical columns once thought to have been brought to Rome by the Emperor Constantine from Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem and which were used in the Old Saint Peter's Basilica.

This "St. Peter's Baldachin" image captures the morning sun light as it lights up the Basilica's ornate Baroque canopy, and illuminates the stunning beauty of Bernini's architecture.  Add this spectacular image to your home, office or cubicle.  Your image will be printed using high-quality papers with a high color accuracy, which guarantees that your prints will last a lifetime without fading.