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lunedì 1 agosto 2011

Three-dimensional reconstruction of the old St. Peter's basilica in Vatican

The reconstruction of the basilica, which I made​​, shows us a model as it could have been around the ninth century. I neglected the secondary elements that surrounded it, chapels and buildings. It is for them that the sides of the quadrangle are open: it was possible a communication between the quadrangle and other places.

The work, very demanding, has presented unexpected difficulties: we have drawings that are not completely reliable or are motivated by purely archaeological intentions, which means that they do not take much into account of the liturgical site, created to apply specific needs.
One example concerns the columns in front of the presbytery. It is well known, that these twelve columns symbolized the apostles. But where were they actually located?

Some drawings place them in two spaced rows. I reproduce them but I have not seen them comfortable for the celebrant, and nor aesthetic for those who watched from the nave. On the other hand, if you look carefully at the fresco of Giovanni Francesco Penni (1496-1528) you do not see a double row of columns. The probable solution is that the two rows were situated behind one another as I have made ​​three-dimensionally.

The painting also gives us the important information that the railing on which rested the spiral columns were at eye level. It is, therefore, a '"iconostasis" of large proportions that significantly separates the space of the faithful from the space of the priests.

If you think that the faithful in the Middle Ages were arranged along the four side aisles, leaving enough freedom for the central nave, this greatly increases the idea of a "nonsense" when we speak of "celebration facing the people" in the ancient Vatican basilica.

The buildings and interior spaces have been built from a plant of Tiberius Alfarano (1570). You see that the present church covers the area of the basilica costantinana, while the width of the new is a little wider. The height is taken from a drawing of humanistic period. If you look at it, you will notice that the interior of the church has many monuments deliberately neglected by me. I decided to add some secondary altars, just starting to spread around the ninth century in the Western churches from northern Europe.

I think that the present work, albeit with some inevitable limits, is unique and offers exciting opportunities for reflection and study, both archaeologically and liturgically.

One last note: since all this took time and effort, I do not want the images to be stolen for profit or be attributed to others.

You can see the images made by me in this video:

3 commenti:

  1. What program did you use for these reconstructions?

  2. Risposte
    1. But in the video you can see the old version. There is also a better version of the ancien basilica.


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