By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies as provided in our policy.

Pope Alexander VII - Vatican City State
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member denben
N 41° 54.134 E 012° 27.304
33T E 288904 N 4642053
Quick Description: The Tomb of Pope Alexander VII is a sculptural monument located in the south transept of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.
Location: Vatican City State
Date Posted: 5/27/2019 8:29:35 AM
Waymark Code: WM10MB1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
Designed and partially executed by the Italian artist Gianlorenzo Bernini, the piece was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII himself. However, construction of the monument didn't start until 1671 and was completed in 1678, eleven years after the Pope's death. This would be Bernini's last major sculptural commission before his death in 1680 at the age of 81.

There are six significant figures in the monument. At the apex is Pope Alexander kneeling in prayer. Below him are four female statues representing virtues practiced by the Pontiff. On the foreground is Charity with a child in her arms. To the right of that is Truth, whose foot rests on a globe. More precisely, Truth's foot is placed directly over England, where Pope Alexander had strived to subdue the growth of Anglicanism. On the second level are Prudence and Justice. These statues were carved in white marble. Most dramatically, below Alexander, the figure of Death is represented in gilded bronze, shrouded in a billowing drapery of Sicilian jasper. He raises an hourglass to symbolize that time has passed. The hourglass is also an artistic symbol of "memento mori" which translates from Latin to "remember you will die". The plinth is in black, as a sign of mourning for the Pope. The expansive billowing drapery of dark Sicilian jasper contrasts dramatically with the still white marble figures. In situations where Bernini needed a great mass of material, he could not depend just on marble recovered from ancient buildings and chose to work with a more modern marble. Thus he chose the Sicilian red jasper, the coloring rich in red tones with green streamed in. Even though the decision was based upon need, you can see Bernini's artistry throughout the tomb. The white marble contains a more pure feeling surrounding the figures of the Pope and the four virtues. This greatly contrasts to the dramatic drapery and the bronze figure of Death, both rich in color, adding emphasis to their meaning.

The monument was a collaboration between Bernini and his assistants, the latter doing most of the work under the close supervision of Bernini. These collaborators included G. Mazzuoli, L. Morelli, G. Cartari, M. Maglia, and L. Balestri. Bernini himself most likely worked on the statue of the Pope. Known for his portrait sculptures, he probably put the finishing touches to Alexander's face.

Source: (visit link)
Pope Alexander VII, born Fabio Chigi, was Pope from 7 April 1655 to his death in 1667. Early in his papacy, Alexander, who was seen as an anti-Nepotist at the time of his election, lived simply; later, however, he gave jobs to his relatives, who eventually took over his administration. His administration worked to support the Jesuits. However, his administration's relations with France were strained due to his frictions with French diplomats. Alexander was interested in architecture and supported various urban projects in Rome. He also wrote poetry and patronized artists who expanded the decoration of churches. His theological writings included discussions of heliocentrism and the Immaculate Conception.

Date of birth: 2/13/1599

Date of death: 5/22/1667

Area of notoriety: Religion

Marker Type: Monument

Setting: Indoor

Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Daily from 7:00 to 19:00

Fee required?: No

Web site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
To post a visit log for waymarks in this category, you must have personally visited the waymark location. When logging your visit, please provide a note describing your visit experience, along with any additional information about the waymark or the surrounding area that you think others may find interesting.

We especially encourage you to include any pictures that you took during your visit to the waymark. However, only respectful photographs are allowed. Logs which include photographs representing any form of disrespectful behavior (including those showing personal items placed on or near the grave location) will be subject to deletion.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Grave of a Famous Person
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Nearest Hotels
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.