|The 2012 nativity scene at St. Peter's Square in Vatican.
"The traditional nativity scene mounted every Christmas in St. Peter's Square will this year be offered to the Holy Father by the Italian region of Basilicata.
The nativity scene, which includes one hundred terracotta figures, is the work of Francesco Artese, one of the most famous exponents of the southern school of traditional nativity sculpture. The most striking characteristic of Artese's work is his recreation of landscapes of the Stones of Matera and his reproduction of scenes of rural life. Indeed, the nativity of St. Peter's Square is reminiscent of locations in the Holy Land.
According to an informative note published today, "The Lucanian landscape has been enriched by the work of religious people who have chosen to live there, transforming these places into a human settlement rich in holiness, building 154 rupestrian churches, monasteries and sanctuaries which, from the high Middle Ages until the nineteenth century, have shaped the identity of a vast area which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
"The scenery of the nativity, therefore, while inspired by a traditional iconographic genre, is rendered unique by elements reproducing locations and architecture typical of the Lucanian landscape. The rupestrian churches of San Nicola dei Greci and Convicinio di Sant'Antonio are recognisable, and above, the bell tower of San Pietro Barisano stands tall amid the myriad rooftops. The human environment is that of ancient Lucanian rural civilisation ... and the statuettes, made entirely of terracotta, are dressed in clothing made of starched cloth and based on the typical Lucanian peasant costumes of the past. Artese has chosen to dress the Holy Family with costumes in the classic tradition".
"As in previous years, the installation of the nativity scene is entrusted to the Technical Services of the Governorate of Vatican City State". (Vatican news agency message).
• Added to the gallery on Feb 16, 2013
• File size: 2.6 MB
: 2827 (#2149
Rome's Piazza del Risorgimento near the Vatican walls.
On the last Sunday of each month the Vatican museums are free, hence the monstrous queue (you can see about a quarter of it!).
• Added to the gallery on May 16, 2014
• File size: 3.8 MB
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On the courtayrd of the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome.
Wikipedia: The Palazzo della Cancelleria (Italian for "Palace of the Chancellery", meaning the Papal Chancellery) is a Renaissance palace in Rome
, Italy, situated between the present Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the Campo de' Fiori
, in the rione
of Parione. It was built between 1489–1513 by an unknown architect as a palace for Cardinal Raffaele Riario, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, and is regarded as the earliest Renaissance palace in Rome
. The palazzo houses the Papal Chancellery, and is an exclave of the Vatican, not subject to Italian sovereignty. It is designated as a World Heritage Site as part of a group of buildings, the Properties of the Holy See. [...] The building's bone-colored travertine was scavenged from the nearby Roman ruins of the Theatre of Pompey, for the Eternal City was a field of ruins, built for a city of over a million people that now housed some thirty thousand. The forty-four Egyptian granite columns of the inner courtyard are from the porticoes of the theatres upper covered seating, however they were originally taken from the theatre to build the old Basilica of S. Lorenzo. Brunelleschi's cloisters of Santa Croce in Florence
, which may have also inspired the courtyard of Luciano Laurana's Palazzo Ducale of Urbino (circa 1468) has been suggested as a possible source of inspiration. It is more likely that the form of the courtyard is derived from that of the Ducal Palace in Urbino, since the individuals involved in the early planning of the palazzo had come from Urbino.
• Added to the gallery on Dec 25, 2011
• File size: 4.0 MB
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Inside the church of San Lorenzo in Damaso, Piazza della Cancelleria, Rome.
Wikipedia: San Lorenzo in Damaso (Saint Lawrence in the House of Damasus) is a basilica church in Rome
, Italy, one of several dedicated to the Roman deacon and martyr Saint Lawrence. Known since antiquity (synod of Pope Symmachus, 499) as Titulus Damasi, according to tradition San Lorenzo in Damaso was built by Pope Damasus I in his own house, in the 380s.
Donato Bramante rebuilt the church in the 15th century, by order of Cardinal Raffaele Riario, within the restoration works of the close by Palazzo della Cancelleria. The last restoration was necessary after a fire that damaged the basilica in 1944.
• Added to the gallery on Oct 29, 2011
• File size: 2.8 MB
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The courtyard in front of the San Clemente church in Rome.
"Simply the most quintessentially Roman building in Rome: seventeen hundred years or so of Roman history, art, architecture, religion, and life piled one on top of another, woven into each other, still visible. From the bizarre, three levels down (a very well-preserved Mithraeum), to the stunningly beautiful top level (the remarkable gold mosaic of the Tree of Life rivals any of the famed mosaics in Ravenna or anywhere else) to the virtually incomprehensible but still compelling jumble of the fourth-century church and its successors in between, there is nothing like this Rome in a nutshell." (Joseph J. Walsh, Professor of Classics and History at Loyola University Maryland, in Robert Kahn's City Secrets: Rome).
• Added to the gallery on Feb 20, 2013
• File size: 3.8 MB
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