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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Benediction Of The Pope In St. Peter's Square 1581-1586

Ambrogio Brambilla 1549 - 1629
Benediction Of The Pope In St. Peter's Square (1581-1586)
Engraving
40 x 55.5 cm
Publisher: Lafreri and Duchetti


Caption: DISEGNO DELA BENEDITIONE DEL PONTEFICE NELA PIAZA DE SANTO PIETRO
Drawing of the Blessing of the Pope in Piazza of St Peter`s, Rome

Caption: Christicolae huc alacres concu(r)rite saepe fideles: Hic deus in terris numinis alta subit.
Translation: Always faithful Christians, assemble here eager: here God ascends a height in the earths of the divine

Caption: Sacris dum manibus populo benedicit amice Assistas: Petri nam gerit ipse vices
Translation: O friend, let yourself stand in the crowd while he blesses with sacred hands: for this very man bears the successions of Peter

Caption: Praesulis hic summi benedictio celsa notatur. Hac cruce signatos demonis ars refugit
Translation: Here, the lofty blessing of the greatest bishop is noted. Here the arts of the devil flee the signs by the cross

Signature: CLAUDII DUCHETTI FORMIS AMBROSIUS BRAM. FECIT
Translation: By the models of Claudio Duchetti Ambrogio Brambilla made it

From: University of Chicago Library Department of Special Collections, A Descriptive Catalogue of Engravings from the University of Chicago Library's Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, Chicago, 1973


Brambilla hailed from Milan.

His presence in Rome was first recorded in 1577

He produced a number of engravings for Duchetti

He produced maps, engravings of Rome and its buildings as well as a book of portraits of the Popes.

Pope Gregory XIII was Pope from 1572 to 1585. Pope Sixtus V was pontiff from 1585 to 1590. Presumably the Pope in the above engraving is either of these two

In 1505, Pope Julius II made a decision to demolish the ancient building of St Peters and replace it with something grander which is the building we see today. Te new building continued around the old basilica. It was only on the first day of Lent, February 18, 1606, under Pope Paul V, the demolition of the remaining parts of the Constantinian basilica began.

The new and the old are seen in the engraving above.

But certainly in the 1580s, St Peters Square was a much different place from that existing today.