St. Peter’s Baldachin by Gian Lorenzo Bernini


Not one word could accurately describe this magnificent art piece made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and give it justice. You can have an entire art study about just one small aspect of this masterpiece, and still not understand the artist’s true perspective. This is one of Bernini’s many extravagant contributions to the interior of the Saint Peter’s Basilica, and it is known as St. Peter’s Baldachin. This work could not be done by just any sculptor or architect. It was done in the Baroque Period, and hence, we see the reflected search for power as portrayed in most art in this period, through richly details and extravagance of it.The detail and precision of his work is remarkable, to the point that if you zoom in anywhere you can find stories portrayed or paintings with religious meanings behind them or even engravings of religious figures.

What’s probably the first impression this work gives is its majestic columns. The way the columns are depicted is quite rare and unusual in so many ways. Bernini made the columns in a spiral form, and although this style recalls the marble columns from early Christian basilica, Bernini’s was on a much grander scale. He casted his columns with bronze and decorated them with vines creeping upward around the twisted column. In addition, we see two angels atop the columns carrying what seems to be a canopy of some sort but their function is pretty unclear.

The dark color used gives such a dramatic effect to the entire image, but amongst that darkness, there is so much light, especially in the background. The color gold is symbolic, for it may represent divine light, spiritual illumination, connection to the divine, or the idea of divinity itself, and therefore we see it a lot in churches and religious places in Christianity.


This is the Throne of Saint Peter which is part of the Baldachin (behind the columns, at the very rear). This is  considered by many to be Bernini’s crowning achievement, and it is a depiction of a medieval wooden throne for a Pope. On top of the image we see a bird and around it angels and engravings of some kind.

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