Interior of Saint Peter's Basilica
Using fine black chalk lines and delicate strokes of brown ink, an unknown artist captured all the imperial magnificence of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Fine lines define the long, barrel-vaulted aisle with its coffered ceiling and side chapels, each decorated with elaborate colonnades, pilasters, domes, half-domes, and pediments. The artist set up his easel at the entrance to the basilica, where he could fully portray the size and drama of the greatest and largest church in Christendom. Because a recognizable sculpture appears in one of the niches halfway down the aisle, scholars know that this work was drawn at some point in the 1600s after the sculpture was installed.
Black chalk, pen and brown ink (17th century)
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