Dating peter jarvis

It still serves that purpose admirably, and is filled to capacity each Easter Sunday and on other important occasions.

The large oval area, 372 meters long, is enclosed at each end by semicircular colonnades surmounted by a balustrade with 140 statues of saints.

Even though it was robbed of many of its treasures by Napoleon, the Pinacoteca contains 16 rooms of priceless art from the Middle Ages to contemporary works.

Arranged in chronological order, the pictures give an excellent survey of the development of Western painting.

The Vatican Museums have the largest collection of ancient sculpture in the world, mainly found in Rome and the surrounding areas, most of it displayed in the systematic arrangement designed by Popes Clement XIV and Pius VI from 1769 to 1799.

Michelangelo's dome is held on four massive pentagonal piers, and below it, under Bernini's magnificent Baroque bronze baldacchino (canopy), is the Papal altar. Built by Pope Sixtus IV in 1473-84, the Sistine Chapel is a rectangular hall that is the Pope's domestic chapel, also used for services and special occasions.

Frescoes in the second room, Sala della Segnatura, were painted by Raphael between 15 and along with the Sistine Chapel, represent the supreme achievement of Renaissance painting.

The paintings convey that period's culture in all its splendor, and show humanist themes -- the natural sciences attainable without divine revelation, philosophy, history, mathematics, civil law, and justice. Peter's Basilica was laid out by Bernini between 16 to provide a setting where the faithful from all over the world could gather.

After the death of a Pope, the conclave to elect his successor is held here.

The frescoes by Michelangelo and others covering the walls and ceiling, acknowledged as the pinnacle of Renaissance painting, were extensively restored from 1980 to 1994, removing layers of candle-soot, dust, varnish, grease, and overpainting to reveal their original luminous colors.

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