During “The Great Perspective by Giacomo Della Porta” event in Rome, the unveiling of a plaque rewrites the genesis of St. Peter’s Dome, attributing its full paternity to the Renaissance Maestro
ROME–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The record of who should be remembered as the artist ultimately responsible for developing St. Peter’s Dome was recently set straight during a virtual press conference in Rome on December 1, 2021.
As part of “The Great Perspective by Giacomo Della Porta” event, architect Alex Rosman shared his findings surrounding one of the most prolific architects and sculptors of the Roman Renaissance. Della Porta is tied to numerous urban achievements during the last part of the XVI century, including the development of St. Peter’s Dome.
Light was shed on the matter thanks to a plaque embedded in the top of the bronze dome facing east, which shows the name of Giacomo Della Porta, attesting to his unmistakable role in the final development of the world-famous symbol of Christianity. Based on what is historically known, Della Porta developed the remainder of the unfinished structure once Michelangelo died and was also tasked with re-designing the overall project, as the original version would’ve likely collapsed under the excessive weight of the dome. Thanks to his intervention, the project gained momentum and St. Peter’s Dome was finally finished, right when Della Porta began construction on the Palazzetto inside Palazzo Albertoni Spinola.
Photographic material documents the existence of the plaque placed at the conclusion of the Basilica’s construction, where Della Porta himself engraved his own name and that of his son: JACOBUS A PORTA ARCHITECTVS / ALEXANDER EIVS FILIVS / PATRITII EQVITESQVE ROMANI 1593.
As part of the conference, Rosman also revealed a unique perspective he observed during a redevelopment operation that underlines an exquisite visual link flowing from the Palezzetto toward the façade of the famous Santa Maria in Campitelli Church.
Historically, Giacomo Della Porta worked on the construction of Palazzo Albertoni Spinola up until his death in 1602. It was then that Rainaldi completed Della Porta’s vision, realigning the façade with the new layout of the outside square. An integration that gave birth to a masterpiece of perspective allowing for an optic effect initially overlooked and, to this day, still unexplainable. In fact, by following the orthogonality of the entrance tunnel, then walking backwards towards the main doorway of the Palazzo, the entrance of the Santa Maria in Campitelli Church appears to shift sideways until perfectly aligned when reaching the threshold entrance of the Palazzetto.
In addition to Alex Rosman, Architect Gaia Rebecchini, responsible for the redevelopment operations of the Palazzetto; Matilde Bartolotta Cingolani, owner of the residence and State USA Inc. Family Office representative and organizer of the event, and Anthony Majanlahti, historian, author and expert on Roman Families, were also in attendance at the conference.