Long-term exhibition explores how architects and artists from Michelangelo to Bernini chronicled Saint Peter’s Basilica
WASHINGTON — On May 27, Museum of the Bible will open Basilica Sancti Petri: The Transformation of Saint Peter’s Basilica, an exhibit that explores how the architecture of the Vatican’s iconic church has influenced the design of cathedrals throughout the world. The exhibition is in collaboration with the Vatican Apostolic Library.
The display was inspired by “Basilica Sancti Petri”, a publication edited by Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums. This book displays extraordinary prints from the Vatican collections that chronicle the history of the construction of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Through the work of famous architects and engravers—such as Antonio da Sangallo, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Lievin Cruyl, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Giuseppe Vasi, and others—these prints offer a glimpse into the past, into architectural projects never carried out, and into the final structure chosen for Saint Peter’s Basilica. The original prints depicted in the book will be on display in the exhibition.
“The history of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is, in many ways, the history of church architecture,” said Jeffrey Kloha, Chief Curatorial Officer at Museum of the Bible. “We are grateful for the partnership with the Vatican Apostolic Library. Their efforts and generosity have made it possible for people in Washington to view this history in person through these beautiful prints.”
The exhibit, which will run through August 28, is part of Museum of the Bible’s long-term exhibit from the Vatican, Treasures from the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library. It is included in the general admission price.
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