The Chapel of Pope Urban VIII Completed

Thanks to Post! the generosity of The Brown Foundation, Texas Patrons of the Arts, the restoration of beautiful vault and staircase of the Chapel of Pope Urban VIII is completed!

This small chapel in the Apostolic Palace, richly decorated with gilded stucco-work by Simone Lagi and frescoes cheap jerseys by Piero da Cortona, was once the private chapel of Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) of the Barberini family.

Maffeo Barberini was born in 2007 Florence in 1568 of a rich business family. He attended a Jesuit school and received a doctorate in law from the University of Pisa. Although he is known to have been authoritarian and nepotistic he was also a connoisseur of art, owner of a fine library and concerned for the security of the city and the Papal States. He chose Castel Gandolfo for his summer retreats, entertaining scholars there.

In 1630, Pope Urban VIII started reconstructing some areas of the Apostolic Palace. During his papacy a small gallery (galleriola) was built creating a passage from the Pontifical Apartment of the Palace of Sixtus V to the old Apartment of Julius II, decorated by Raphael.

According to existing documents, in 1624 the Barberini Pope decided to start the decoration of his private Chapel, which was going to be known as the Private Chapel of Urban VIII and of the nearby staircase (Scala Segreta, the Secret Staircase). The Pope first asked Simone Lagi to take care of the decoration of From the walls and vault of the staircase. Soon after the works of the staircase were finished, Simone Lagi was commissioned to decorate the Chapel. But this time he was going to work with the cheap nba jerseys highly praised Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669). This great Italian painter and architect was one of the leaders of the XVII Century high baroque style in Rome.

In 1635 Pietro da Cortona started the decoration of the Papal Chapel. On September 12th of this same year he began painting the Deposition of Christ while his workshop executed the Stories of the Passion in the lunettes and the Angels with the Instruments of the Passion on the vault. The Deposition, now fully cleaned and restored, has regained its beautiful and vivid colors. Pietro da Cortona painted the altarpiece for the chapel with an attractive scene in which all the brightly dressed figures gather around the grey tomb and hold the body of Christ. In the fresco the cheap nfl jerseys total composition is pyramidal and the figures of Mary Magdalene and of the young John, who sustains the body of Christ, create a diagonal wholesale nfl jerseys accent. Christ lifeless figure is held by St. John, while Mary Magdalene is cheap jerseys reverently holding Christ’s hand marked by the stigmata. Mary, in a despairing attitude, is wringing her hands and her expression is highly melodramatic. In the foreground the crown of thorns, reminds us of the passion.

Thanks to the many years of effort by the Vatican restorers and the generosity of the Patrons, now all who visit the Raphael Rooms can appreciate the rich elegance and inspiring beauty of this private chapel of the Barberini Pope. A special thanks to the generosity of the Texas Patrons who made this restoration possible.