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Interior of Saint Peter's, Rome, 1735

Giovanni Paolo Pannini

Italian, 1691-1765
Oil on canvas
60-1/4 x 86-1/2 in. (153 x 219.7 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1974.3.P
© 2012 The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Pannini painted close to twenty versions of the interior of St. Peter's. This painting depicts the interior of the basilica as it looked prior to changes that occurred after 1743. It is based on a work, now in the Louvre, that was commissioned by Cardinal Melchoir de Polignac, French Ambassador to the Vatican. In these paintings, Polignac, dressed as a Cardinal, is in the basilica surrounded by a small coterie. The bold description of the vast interior and the sureness with which the architecture and decor are described on the canvas remind us again of Pannini's thorough familiarity with scenographic design.

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