tisdag 20 september 2016

"Best of" Basilica di San Pietro

After the conference a lot of us had lunch together and then Lena Dahren, who's a Swedis expert on renaissance lace, and I went to the Basilica di San Pietro. It's a huge cathedral, with a crypt from the 12th century and even older roots. There are excavations being made under the church and you can actually go in there and look at them, from the crypt. We had a very nice archaeologist who showed us around.

This beautiful terracotta sculpture by Alfonso Lombardi, from the 1520s is found just to the right of the entrance.

Photo from wikipedia.

As you can see most of the sculptures wear allegorical dress. Except for the man in the left, who I took many photos of:

It's such a find! You can see all the details of this artisan's dress: he's wearing a coat with stand up collar made in one with the main body parts and shoulder wings, buttoned with a few, large buttons. Under it he's wearing a pleated shirt with a low neckline. If it's the shirt sleeves we see, or separate sleeves fastened under the shoulder wings we cannot know. His cap is probably made from felted wool and shoes reaching to his ankles.

The actual church is mainly baroque, which I'm not that interested in, so we went down into the crypt after photographing the terracotta sculpture.

Here ornaments from the 12th century were hung on one of the walls:

There were also relics - these are from the protmartyrs Vitalis and Agricola, who according to legend died in Bologna in the early 4th century. 

This is one of the amazing thing with being in Italy - there are so many layers of history, going back so far.

The following images are from inside the excavations - we were shown teh different layers, starting with a Roman road (this was were the Forum was), a 6th century remnant of a church, a 12th century pillar, and then some 16th century walls, all in the same place.

Roman bricks, with footprints of dogs :)

A late 14th century dress ornament found in the excavations. Th earcehologist thought that he was wearing armour because of the roundels, but I see a metal plaque belt, buttons, and a hood with metal ornaments, i.e bezants.

There were parts of a 16th century fresco underground too - this shows a rather nice detail of the shoulder of a woman's jacket.

After walking into a low, narrow tunnel we also got to see an ossuary.

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