St. Peter's, Vatican City

Carlo Maderno

Maderno was given the task of completing St. Peter's; he added 3 nave bays and a narthex to the west end of the earlier church, thus making Michelangelo's central plan into the more traditional basilica. Like Michelangelo, Maderna used the colossal order.
Like Santa Susanna, the facade builds toward the center; the spacing of architectural elements is closer and pilasters become columns as the facade steps out progressively. The center is emphasized by the triangular pediment.

Left: entrance; center: outermost bay

St. Peter's was completed by Giacoma della Porta. The two outside bays for bell-towers were not part of Maderno's plan.

Dome of St. Peter's, 1546-64


The dome is best seen from the rear. When Maderno added to the nave, the dome was then pushed further from the facade of the church. It must now be viewed at a great distance (or from the rear) to see it as Michelangelo intended.

Details of the top--center and outermost bay

Go to page 2: Bernini's additions--the piazza and colonnade.

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© 2001 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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