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 The New St Peter's Basilica Complex, Rome 1506 - 1667 - Dr Christopher Even Longhurst

2015 July 21 & 28  Length  56:29 & 1:13:00

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DVD $20

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Dr Chris LonghurstSt. Peter’s Basilica, Rome – “new”? Yes! In fact one might say “ever new.” This two-part lecture explores the sixteenth century High Renaissance Basilica of St. Peter, Rome, it building, art and architecture, together with its Baroque piazza and subterranean infrastructure. It presents this complex as new not only insofar as the present building replaced the old fourth century basilica of the Emperor Constantine, or because its chief architects are considered by Romans as “modern” amidst their ancient city’s history, but also because of the basilica’s revered commitment to new “epiphanies” of beauty in the modern age.

From the High Renaissance to the High Baroque; from Julius II (r.1503-13) to Alexander VII (r.1655-67); from Bramante’s classic floor plan to Michelangelo’s colossal dome, from Maderno’s imposing facade to Bernini’s captivating piazza, from imperial Roman architecture to modern abstract sculpture, this double lecture unfolds the history, art and architecture of the present-day St. Peter’s basilica complex as tribute to what constitutes a spiritual and political coalition, sometimes peaceful, other times turbulent, between great popes and rival artists—who produced, arguably, the greatest human achievement ever—Basilica Sancti Petri in Urbe.

A must for connoisseurs of fine culture, art history, religion and the arts, or anyone who has visited or wants to visit this remarkable, unique and influential site.