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Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal-Building St. Peters.

Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal-Building St. Peters.


Scotti, R. A.

Cl. New York, 2006

Book ID: 69802

In this absorbing story of the construction of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome„the grandest architectural undertaking of the High Renaissance„Scotti (Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938) shows how the construction fed the ambitions of 30 popes, including the indomitable Julius II, who laid the first stone in 1506; Leo X, the Medici pope whose extravagant spending fueled the resentment toward the papacy that culminated in the Protestant Reformation; Clement VII, on whose watch Rome was sacked by Emperor Charles V; and Sixtus V, who restored the ravaged city and pushed, against all odds, to have the great dome completed during his lifetime. In 1506, the great architect Donato Bramante envisioned a gigantic central crossing topped by a dome of such daring design that many believed it could not be built. Throughout the 100 years of construction, numerous architects, most of them consumed with pride, lofty ambition and professional jealousy, followed. Among them were Raphael, who died at age 37; Michelangelo, who accepted the job reluctantly at the age of 71; and Giacomo della Porta, who, in 1590, succeeded in raising the grand cupola. All are brought to life in this fascinating tale of genius, power and money. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

300 pp., B&W illus.