Bernini: Beyond Sculptor


Bernini is not only a sculptor but also an architect. He is the principal architect for the famous St. Peter’s Square.


St. Peter’s Square is considered to be the most spectacular square in the world, integrating religion, art, and science. The square is oval, and the ground is paved with black square stones. The square is surrounded by two sets of semicircular marble colonnade (a total of 284 columns and 88 square columns), forming a corridor. At the top of each stone column facing the square is a 3.2-meter-high marble statue, all of which are 140 martyrs in Roman Catholic history. Looking down from a height, St. Peter’s Square seemed to stretch out two arms to greet believers from all over the world.


In the middle of the square stands an obelisk. The lions are inlaid between the bronze lions, spreading their wings and flying. This stone was transported from Egypt and had a long history dating back to 40 AD. There are two elegant fountains on both sides of the square, which are divided into upper and lower floors, and the water column falls to form a water curtain, and the gurgling sound.


There is a circular sign in the center of the square. Standing on the circular sign and looking at the cylinder, you can see that 284 cylinders all converge into a column. To achieve this ingenious design, Bernini differentiated the columns’ model with the outermost columns being the shortest and thickest.


Behind St. Peter ’s Square is the famous St. Peter ’s Baldachin.


The bronze canopy in St. Peter’s Basilica was also designed and carved by Bernini. The bronze canopy is located directly under the dome of the church, and under the bronze, the canopy is St. Peter’s tomb and a priestly altar. The canopy is supported by 4 spiral copper pillars and is 5 stories high. There is a statue under each copper pillar, carved by Longino, Elena, Veronica, and Andrea. On the curved railing in front of the canopy, 99 permanent lights are burning forever.

圣彼得宝座原是一个木制宝座,为罗马早期基督教徒的领袖 — — 圣彼得所有。这一木制宝座正面和背面均有雕花图案,但因历史悠久,损坏严重。于是,贝尼尼设计了一个镀金青铜外壳包裹在木制宝座外。贝尼尼设计的青铜宝座上有两个小天使,手持开启天国的钥匙。

The throne of St. Peter was originally a wooden throne and was owned by the early Christian leaders in Rome — St. Peter. This wooden throne has carved patterns on the front and back, but it has been severely damaged due to its long history. So Bernini designed a gold-plated bronze shell wrapped around the wooden throne. On the bronze throne designed by Bernini, two little angels are holding the key to open the kingdom of heaven.

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