Ten The Pantheon in the Seventeenth Century

Tod A. Marder

In the course of the seventeenth century, the Pantheon and its urban context were too dearly loved and too poorly understood to survive unattended. Elements of the building were restored, remodeled, and occasionally plundered over the century, while the urban context was repeatedly studied, reconceived on paper, and occasionally actually reformed. As an object of study, a source of emulation, and a challenge to preservation, the Pantheon was also enigmatic, a target of aesthetic criticism and a stimulus to “correct” architectural composition. In all of these regards, the history of the Pantheon in the seventeenth century largely reflects the kinds of episodes that took place over the previous millennium.

We need to recall that scarcely more than a half century after the consecration of the Pantheon to Saint Mary and All Martyrs, the Byzantine emperor Constans II organized the removal of the bronze tiles from the dome of the edifice in AD 663 and shipped them to Syracuse.1 In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III replaced those tiles with lead plates. In 1270, a bell tower was installed atop the ridge of the pediment, in keeping with the increasingly common practice of marking the hours and church rituals throughout Rome in the thirteenth century.2 With time, ancient buildings around the Pantheon were despoiled of their materials, many crumbling to the ground, while shops, vendors’ stalls, and habitations were built against surviving remains. The process, deeply entrenched in the history of the site, continued well after prohibitions against such encroachments were published. Because the hastily constructed shacks and stalls were usually built of wood, fire was an ever-present danger, with falling timbers capable of causing the collapse of larger stone and masonry structures.

In fact, a fire seems to have caused the destruction of the entablature and the columns along the east-facing side of the portico, which were eventually replaced by a brick-and-rubble wall enclosing this corner of the famous facade.3 As a result, the exterior of the portico assumed the asymmetrical appearance that we see in countless images from the Renaissance, such as in Figures 1.7, 9.1, and 9.2. The new wall obscured the loss of the columns, provided support to the east side of the portico and pediment, and dramatically separated the portico from the piazza. Eventually this separation was exaggerated by the rising height of the piazza, from which it became necessary to descend by stairs to the level of the portico (see Fig. 1.4). The sixteenth-century antiquarian Flavio Biondo claimed that a visitor had to descend as many steps from the piazza to the portico as were once necessary to ascend in order to enter the temple in antiquity. It was a matter of seven steps in the seventeenth century.4 The damaged or missing columns and entablature were repaired or replaced in the seventeenth century in the course of two campaigns, as we shall see. Nevertheless, the threat of fire endured, as an anonymous nineteenth-century drawing of a forno (bakery) backed up to the rotunda testifies.5

Urban VIII and the Pantheon

Renaissance popes continued to attend to the maintenance of the Pantheon in various ways pertinent to their seventeenth-century successors, as will be seen throughout this chapter, but the record is sporadic. Under Paul II (1464–1471), for example, we know that masonry in the portico was repaired, as were the timbering and terracotta tiles for the roof.6 From this and many other notices pertaining to the piazza, we can be certain that the portico had a conspicuous place in the collective consciousness of Roman Renaissance antiquarians. Nothing more dramatically proves this fact than the outcry following the infamous despoiling of the bronze beams from the porch on the orders of Urban VIII Barberini in 1625. This incident gave rise to the well-known pasquinade satirizing the fact that a pope had dared to do what even the invading barbarians had never done – “what the barbarians did not do, the Barberini did” – quod non fecerunt i barberi fecerunt i Barberini. It mattered little that the bronze was later said to be destined for the casting of Bernini’s Baldacchino for St. Peter’s, rather than armaments for protecting the city.

This episode, recently clarified by Louise Rice, is more complicated and interesting than previously thought. Presented with the need for additional cannon to protect Castel Sant’Angelo, Pope Urban VIII (1623–1644) authorized the removal of the ancient bronze beams that had been studied repeatedly and drawn very often in the course of the sixteenth century (see Fig. 9.15). The new research clarifies three aspects of the operation pertaining to our interest in the reception of the Pantheon. First, it is now clear that the despoliation of the bronze, originally intended for cannon, was soon justified by the report of its deployment to the Baldacchino in St. Peter’s, as a way to mollify Urban VIII’s critics. Evidently, the sacred destination for the bronze was deemed more acceptable to critics than the defensive purposes that inspired the operation in the first instance. In truth, not a bit of the metal can be documented in St. Peter’s, but it can be traced in the cannon of the period. So, in the reality of the day, defensive needs trumped antiquarian interests, but the antiquarian faction was not to be dismissed. This fact relates to a second revelation, namely, that the pope then embarked on a compensatory effort to restore the portico to its former glory, with significant results. Third, the operation inspired a debate about the original form of the portico’s vaulting and how it should be treated after the bronze beams were replaced by timbers. In Rice’s account, the removal of the bronze and its management from a public relations perspective reveal the depth of popular affection and erudite concerns for the ancient fabric in the seventeenth century.7

The papal order for dismantling the bronze was issued in August 1625. The stated reason for the operation was to use the material for pezzi d’artegliaria (“pieces of artillery”) at Castel Sant’Angelo, but popular reaction was so swift that Urban VIII was immediately thrust into a defensive mode. By September, the Roman avvisi (news reports) attributed the pasquinade to Giulio Mancini, the learned Sienese doctor and author of a book on the art of painting. Although deeply concerned with the Pantheon, Mancini was also Urban III’s personal physician, and so there is good reason to attribute the pasquinade to candidates less dependent upon the pope. All the same, the result was a counteroffensive to justify Urban VIII’s orders and reestablish his good intentions. This is when he let it be known that the bronze would be used for a religious purpose, namely, the casting of Bernini’s Baldacchino, and from then on, the dual destination of the spoils was widely broadcast.8

In fact, Rice calculates that 98 percent of the bronze was always earmarked for artillery, but because the material was brought to the foundry where both the Baldacchino and the papal cannon were manufactured, the pope’s intentions were effectively “camouflaged.” Those who knew of these matters recognized them as “a diversionary tactic,” as Rice terms it.9 Nonetheless, Urban’s compensatory repairs of the Pantheon exceeded pure necessity and added conspicuously to the appearance of the building. The bronze beams had to be replaced, of course, and careful drawings by Francesco Borromini demonstrate that considerable thought and skill went into the composition of timber substitutes, beginning with a detailed understanding of the ancient configuration (Fig. 10.1).10 In 1626–1627, Borromini also repaired the missing column on the northeast corner of the portico and provided it with a newly made capital. This capital can be easily identified by the Barberini bee that was carved on the flower of the capital (see Fig. 1.19). Even more conspicuous than the refurbished corner column was the addition of the two bell towers to replace the single tower that had to be dismantled to pull the bronze structures from beneath it. Drawings by Borromini for the design and construction of the towers survive to attest to the origins of these towers in the workshop of the chief papal architect of the day, Carlo Maderno (Fig. 10.2).11 The traditional but incorrect attribution of the towers to Bernini is ironic in view of the extensive rivalry between him and the Maderno-Borromini team. Could there be yet another level of dissimulation in the attribution of these new additions to the facade of the Pantheon, which were soon dubbed “the ass’s ears” (l’orecchie d’asino)? It is difficult to know for sure, but the unfounded relationship to Bernini expresses independently the extent to which both the towers and he were associated, for better and for worse, with the Barberini pope. Even in the modern archaeological literature the misattribution survives.12


10.1. Truss work at the Pantheon; drawing by Francesco Borromini, 1625. (Albertina, Vienna)


10.2 a and b. Inscriptions erected in 1632 by Urban VIII flanking entrance portal. (Photos author)

The work accomplished by Urban VIII was memorialized on two large inscriptions flanking the bronze doors into the rotunda (Fig. 10.2). The tablet on the left alludes to the ancient bronze trusses, “a useless and all but forgotten adornment,” for the embellishment of the apostolic tomb and the defense of the fortress of Hadrian (Castel Sant’Angelo). The tablet on the right refers to the pope’s restructuring of the roof and the construction of the twin bell towers. Both inscriptions were posted in 1632.13 In the years leading up to their appearance, while the Barberini distributed huge bronze bolts (pictured in Borromini’s drawing) from the ancient trusses as souvenirs, it is yet another irony that antiquarians busily debated the merits of completing a flat or vaulted ceiling in the portico in order to hide the trusses replaced in wood and to embellish the building in a manner befitting its heritage.14 Neither of theseplans was put into effect, but they reveal the ambitions of seventeenth-century thinking about an ancient Roman building.

In both the old and the new roof system, the supporting members were braced on rough-finished masonry above the columns of the portico, which can be seen in photographs and drawings (Fig. 10.3). Nevertheless, the configuration of the ancient bronze trusses differed from their later wooden counterparts in a number of ways. The differences may be revealed to some extent by comparing Borromini’s scheme and any Renaissance drawings of the trusswork, although we must be careful to account for the variations in the latter that were not always done from on-site observation. In her analysis, Rice argues that the unusually compressed aspect of the ancient configuration may itself be an improvised solution devised in antiquity for a portico that was originally intended to be taller. This is an important suggestion because it is consistent with the theory of Mark Wilson Jones regarding a possible change in the size of the columns during construction. Thus, as a corollary to the suggested shift in the scale of the columns in ancient times, there would have been a concomitant change in the design for the trusses and the height of the roof of the portico.15


10.3. Truss work in portico. (Photo author)

The comparison of the ancient with the seventeenth-century truss systems could help us to envision the insertion of a barrel-vaulted ceiling under the ancient roof, whereas the Borromini scheme does not appear to leave adequate space for such a vault to span the wide central bay of the portico. In fact, the debate about a vault or a flat ceiling was ultimately left undecided and the project unexecuted, whether for lack of technical resolution, authenticity, or matters of funding. Two manuscript accounts of the issue survive to describe the considerations, one likely by the pope’s doctor, Mancini, the other anonymous.16

As it happens, both authors endorsed the concept of a barrel vault over the central entrance axis. In the fashion typical of seventeenth-century dialectic, the objections are fully aired: false ceilings are more stable and cost less; the ancients never set vaults on columns; all vaults exercise lateral thrusts that would make them inherently unstable at the Pantheon; and resolving this instability with iron tie rods was unacceptable because the ancients never used them. To these objections, the anonymous author insists that vaults are stronger and more beautiful than false ceilings; that the ancients had indeed set barrel vaults on columns (and cites examples); that a properly constructed vault would produce no lateral thrusts; and that architects often make use of techniques unknown in antiquity. Both Mancini and the anonymous author agree that vaulting would complement the magnificence of the entire building, especially the dome. Mancini maintains that flat ceilings would compromise the portico’s airy dimensions, which had already been reduced by the accretion of soil burying the columns and portions of their shafts, no doubt referring to those bordering the piazza. In the end, no solution proved practical in the context of the new timbering for the portico, and so it remained – perhaps since the change in scale of ancient columns – an unfinished aspect of the most finished Roman building to come down to us, “a sort of ruin within a building otherwise intact,” in Rice’s felicitous phrasing.17

Reading the Interior of the Pantheon

In several brief but fundamental publications, Tilmann Buddensieg showed how the ancient Pantheon stimulated both admiration and criticism in the Renaissance and afterwards.18 Acknowledgment of the Pantheon’s design “faults” still comes as something of a shock because of our natural inclination to regard it as an authoritative model of ancient architecture for the early modern period. The truth is that over the centuries and right up to the present, scholars and architects have continued to observe some subtle but unusual, and sometimes inexplicable, features in the building whose character is anything but self-evident. Some of these features have been discussed in previous chapters in this book. Efforts to understand the structural realities and decorative logic of the Pantheon have been recorded since the fifteenth century and have continued to tease antiquarians into the eighteenth century and up to our time.

Indeed, many of the difficulties in comprehending the edifice in the Renaissance were the same as those we face today: what explains the awkward formal connection between porch and rotunda, the apparent disjunction between paving patterns inside the rotunda and features of the elevation, or the apparent dissonance between the vertical lines of the main order, the smaller order in the attic, and the ribs of the dome? Observations on these issues and others have stimulated commentary in writings and drawings for centuries and compose some of the most sustained analyses and criticism in the whole history of architecture.

A prominent catalyst for these commentaries was the attic zone of the interior, that portion of the elevation located between the entablature of the main order and the springing of the dome. For visitors then as now, it is obvious to see that the little pilasters, orpilastrini, of the attic are not consistently aligned with the grand Corinthian order rising from the pavement nor are they aligned with the ribs of the dome above them. (See Plates VII and X. For reasons mentioned in our Introduction (Chapter One), the pilastrini today survive in just a small section of the attic.) It appears as though this conspicuous portion of the composition of the Pantheon, a touchstone of ancient Roman architecture, violates a fundamental classical ideal, namely, that vertical components of an elevation be precisely aligned over one another, not partially and not over the void of a niche or in the middle of a bay.19 The assumed rule was: solid over solid, void over void.

In the fifteenth century, Francesco di Giorgio Martini reconstructed the Pantheon in a drawing that appears to correct this apparent defect by inventing a second attic register and inserting it below the dome with a reduced number of pilastrini (Fig. 10.4). Moreover, he aligned his pilastrini with the ribs of the dome, in the process changing both the number and the position of the coffers.20 If Francesco’s were an isolated example of the phenomenon, we could attribute these features to inaccuracies generated by an artist working off-site or perhaps from a description, but this is just one of many examples of drawings and illustrations that consciously propose revisions to the composition of the ancient building.


10.4. Project to refashion interior elevation of the Pantheon; drawing by Francesco di Giorgio, fifteenth century. (Biblioteca Reale, Turin, Saluzzo 148, fol. 80)

To take a widely circulated example, we can turn to the printed treatise on architecture by Sebastiano Serlio. The illustrations appear in his Book Four, which was initially published in 1540 and is generally considered to be one of the first publications in architectural history to provide illustrations of a substantial canon of ancient buildings.21 The book illustrates the interior and exterior elevations of the Pantheon and includes many details. One of the details demonstrates how the woodcut alters the elevation so that the disposition of the main order, the small attic pilasters (the pilastrini), and the ribs of the dome are vertically aligned with one another, whereas this is not the case in the monument itself and never was (see Fig. 1.17). While purporting to present the interior of the Pantheon faithfully, Serlio has willfully “corrected” its composition to conform to his own expectations.22

Antonio da Sangallo the Younger also engaged the issue of vertical alignments in annotated drawings that also take the ancient architects to task over the composition of the portico and the disposition of the columns within the building (see Fig. 1.15). He draws attention to “another error” inside the Pantheon, which is that the pilastrini and the columns are not spaced uniformly and the upper pilasters do not fall uniformly over the orders below or coordinate above with the ribs of the vault, which he terms a “most pernicious thing.”23

Not all Renaissance antiquarians and architects indulged in this sort of criticism, and few expressed themselves as clearly as Sangallo. In striking contrast to his drawings and commentary and to Serlio’s blatantly inaccurate illustrations of the Pantheon, Andrea Palladio’s illustrations of it faithfully record the monument as it stood, insofar as we can determine.24 His woodcuts accurately illustrate, for example, how the windows of the attic are located above each pier and each of the principal niches (see Fig. 1.18). He also faithfully captures the lack of vertical alignment between the pilastrini of the attic and the Corinthian orders that spring from the pavement. (Palladio’s detailed image of the elevation does not extend above the attic into the dome area, perhaps to avoid presenting the apparent “misalignment” of the dome’s ribs with the pilastrini and the principal order below them.)

Possibly influenced by these concerns, some Renaissance architects preferred simply to omit the pilastrini of the attic when they drew the interior elevation of the Pantheon. In a beautifully detailed longitudinal section, Baldassare Peruzzi minutely annotated each feature with dimensions but leaves the attic unarticulated save for the windows located above each niche and pier (Fig. 10.5). Similarly, the transverse section of the drawing by Bernardo della Volpaia in the Codex Corner shows a blank attic, bare and uninterrupted but for its windows (see Fig. 9.19). While our sources do not explicitly reveal the reasons for omitting the pilastrini on these drawings, the architects would surely have been aware of the formal concerns we have mentioned. Could they have suspected, like many later observers did, that the polychrome revetment of the attic was added to the Pantheon when it was rededicated to Christianity? We cannot be certain.


10.5. Longitudinal section of Pantheon; drawing by Baldassare Peruzzi. (Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea, Ferrara)

It is likely that Michelangelo had some of these formal considerations in mind, even when he praised the design of the attic’s windows as “most graceful,” the portico as a “thing most precious,” and the interior design as “angelic and not human.” Angelic and not human, Michelangelo maintained, but only up to the main cornice (dal primo Cornicione in giù era disegno angelico, e non umano).25 Like earlier and later students of the building, Michelangelo believed that the Pantheon was the product of three different architects and three separate phases, which included the rotunda, the dome, and the portico. As Vasari recounted it, Michelangelo believed that the first architect would have brought the building to the height of the large cornice; the second from the cornice to the top of the dome, including the “genial” form of the windows; and the third architect was responsible for that “most singular” portico.26 For our purposes, it is important to note that Michelangelo’s judgment was known and quoted in the seventeenth century during the pontificates of both Urban VIII and Alexander VII.27

We can be sure that these concerns retained their currency in the seventeenth century by referring to the notations of Inigo Jones while in Rome on “ye last of May 1614.”28 In his personal copy of the 1601 edition of Palladio’s Quattro libri, Jones attempted to note “more then is in Palladio,” regarding the details and dimensions of the Pantheon, thus to correct or dilate upon issues of contemporary interest.29 The process is interesting as much for Jones’s keen observations as for his critical attitude toward Palladio and toward the Pantheon. For example, he criticized his predecessor’s rendition of the stairs in the intermediate block: “Palladio makes not these staires as they ar but as he conceaves they should be but this is too great liberti.” Observing the interior of the rotunda itself, Jones does not hesitate to criticize the ancient elevation in familiar ways. He warns: “Noat the ribes of this volte answears with nothing below yt. Not to be Imitated. / The second order had in my opinion better had been an Opera bastarda, for so yt is now in effectte.” By this he means wall strips without proper bases or capitals, as on the upper story of Bramante’s Tempietto, which Jones also referred to as an “opera bastarda.”30 On the lower margin of the page illustrating the Pantheon, Inigo referred to “A drawing of this sumwhat otherwyze,” suggesting that he, like many others, had imagined and drawn a scheme with improvements on the ancient composition of the Pantheon. His drawing remains unidentified.

Eventually, it seems to have been Bernini who first explained how the pilastrini of the attic corresponded to the order of the pilasters and columns rising from the pavement. In an insight laden with associations for the term “baroque” in the visual arts, he explained the correspondence as one of rhythm and proportion rather than superimposition. Thus, when his patron, Pope Alexander VII, repeatedly asked him to “enliven” the dome of the Pantheon, Bernini refused. Maintaining that he lacked the talent necessary to do anything of the sort, Bernini professed a willingness only to paint the pilastrini in the attic if money were lacking to replace them in genuine marble. His refusal, we are told, was highlighted by an aperçu meant as much to reveal the nature of the design as to argue for its preservation. For he justified his refusal by a clever reading of the attic that his predecessors had missed: “Having recognized that the pilastrini with their associated placement and proportions corresponded to the order rising from the pavement – that there was the same symmetry and eurythmy – with the judgement of a truly great man, measured and modest, Bernini said that he did not have the skill to make any changes.”31 In short, Bernini had recognized that the rhythm of the units of four pilastrini at the attic level, separated by the windows, conformed to the four-part pilaster-and-column groups across the niches of the lowest level, separated by the main piers.

This exchange is recorded in a document of 1762 known in two copies. It takes the form of a letter addressed to the young architect assigned to complete the design of the Trevi Fountain after the death of Nicola Salvi in 1751. Salvi’s successor was Giuseppe Pannini, son of the painter, who was hired to finish the fountain at a time when much of its temporary sculptural decoration remained to be executed in stone. The letter describes how Bernini, a century earlier, had considered the ancient decoration of the Pantheon as perfect and therefore “incapable of change or correction by any other later architect.” The purpose of the letter was to admonish the young, newly appointed architect of the Trevi fountain to be similarly faithful to the original decorative scheme he had inherited from Salvi. The author of the letter was probably Salvi’s brother, which would explain the partisanship of the writer, who elsewhere in the letter addresses Pannini in the diminutive as l’architettino (literally: “little architect”).32

It is just possible that the eighteenth-century writer himself stumbled on a reading of the Pantheon, which he then attributed to Bernini and which resolves a problem that disturbed Francesco di Giorgio, Peruzzi, Sangallo the Younger, Michelangelo, and many other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century architects. Alternatively, another still-anonymous source might be credited with the insight. Yet the simplest and most sensible conclusion is that the anecdote about Bernini’s refusal to honor Alexander’s request to enliven the interior of the Pantheon reflects events, and that Bernini’s insight was based on his ability to appreciate an aspect of the building that had confounded his predecessors. If this reading of the evidence is accepted, Bernini may be identified as the first observer to explain the apparent anomaly in the scansion of the attic pilastrini of the Pantheon.

In short, Bernini was arguing that the ancient architects of the Pantheon had recapitulated the rhythmic sequencing of the main order of the rotunda in the minor order of the attic. He may even have arranged to illustrate the matter in a large wash drawing that is usually associated with his studio (Fig. 10.6). Thus, the pilasters of the main order are more widely separated than the spaces between the adjoining columns. The result is an “a-b-b-b-a” rhythm, which is the same as the rhythm that can be observed between the windows of the attic.33 Likely, the observation had escaped Renaissance architects because their understanding of classical composition did not embrace such rhythmic complexity, despite numerous examples of it in other ancient monuments, such as Trajan’s Baths (see Chapter Five). The notion of superimposed rhythms of varying proportions appears in ancient Roman architecture, like the Porta dei Borsari in Verona, which was well known in the Renaissance.34 Here, the syncopation of horizontal cadences and the inversion of relief levels obliterate vertical consistency. By contrast, Michelangelo was unwilling to acknowledge the precedence of horizontal over vertical consistency, as in his designs for S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini, where the attic register continues the lines of the main order, but the diminished scale of the higher components is not accompanied by a proportional reduction in their lateral spacing.35 Had Michelangelo shared Bernini’s vision, the designs for S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini would have incorporated diminished spaces between the order on the attic and those on a larger scale rising below them.


10.6. Elevation of Pantheon with portion of old high altar drawn on flap (lower left); wash drawing from Bernini workshop. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi P VII, 9, fol. 110)

All the same, Bernini’s understanding of these matters was not widely held. In a manuscript of 1707 accompanied by drawings in the Soane Museum, the Scottish architect James Gibbs described the interior of the rotunda with an “Attick adorned with small pilasters, which neither answer to ye upright of the columns below them, nor to the ribs betwixt the large panels in the roof above them, and has a very bad effect.” In his drawings, he indicates “the Small pilasters over ye great columns, neither conforming to ye ribs ... of ye Cupola above them, nor ... ye columns below them.” As an antidote, he drew “the Attick keept plain, much better than with ye small pilasters, having no proportion to ye great Columns.”36 It is likely that Gibb’s remarks reflect the state of studies among contemporary scholars of the monument, for he resided in Rome (1703–1708) and trained in the studio of Carlo Fontana. He had actually taken his drawings from the engravings of Fontana’s Templum Vaticanum of 1694, except for the fact that Fontana preferred to populate the attic with caryatids. Fontana located these caryatids directly above the shafts of the main order in an effort to correct the problem recognized by previous generations of architects (see Fig. 11.2).37

Alexander VII and his Interior Embellishments

When Alexander VII Chigi (1655–1667) requested Bernini’s assistance to “enliven” the Pantheon – and the artist responded three separate times in the negative – it is likely that the pope based his decorative aspirations on the belief that the interior had been sculpturally embellished in antiquity and that the attic in particular had been redecorated when the building was rededicated to become a Christian church. The locus classicus for the caryatids that appear in Fontana’s engraving is Pliny the Elder’s Natural History36, 38, but Pliny (d. AD 79) is unclear about the location of the figures in Agrippa’s edifice. They were sometimes interpreted as decoration for the portico, or belonging to the major order of the interior, or within the niches of the rotunda, but no one had suggested yet that they belonged at the level of the interior attic. Famiano Nardini’s magisterial Roma antica, published in 1665 and well known to Alexander VII, concluded that one simply could not determine “in what part of the Pantheon they were or could have been.” But that did not stop an investigation of other ancient sources like Dio Cassius and Vitruvius, or the early modern writings of Flavio Biondo, Michelangelo, or Ludovico Demonzioso, all of whom are cited in the Chigi archives.38

Carlo Fontana, who had served as Bernini’s assistant at St. Peter’s but also followed an independent practice, subscribed to the notion that the Pantheon had been built in stages. The original structure, he maintained, was a Roman Republican building to which Agrippa had later added a portico. At the same time, Fontana believed, Agrippa had also added a corresponding Corinthian order to the interior of the building, which had previously consisted only of arches. Fontana believed that to cover the upper zone of the old arches and fill the margin between the new order and the springing of the dome, Agrippa had employed caryatid figures directly above the main order of columns and pilasters. Although he does not explain why, Fontana concluded that the caryatids in the attic register were replaced by the pilastrini when the temple was exorcised and converted to Christian purposes. At this time, presumably, the vertical accents on the attic were applied without regard for their correspondence to the lower order; but no account is given of the apparent dislocation of the pilastrini from the ribs of the dome. These relationships are clearly illustrated in Fontana’s engravings, which include the prima edificazione and above it the Pantheon with ornati fatti da Agrippa.39 (See Fig. 11.2 and comments by Susanna Pasquali in Chapter Eleven.)

From this exposition in text and image, Fontana appears to have given form to Alexander VII’s ambitions in several ways. For example, Fontana maintained that while Agrippa did not erect the dome, he did plan to provide it with stucco ornament. And Fontana praised Alexander VII for ordering the dome encrusted with stucco decoration “in the way it was formerly,” that is, in antiquity. In a similar spirit, wrote Fontana, Alexander intended to decorate the attic with large figures of angels set directly above the Corinthian columns in place of the ancient caryatids once located there. The angels were to be conceived, scaled, and posed so that they would appear illusionistically to support the cornice on which the dome rests. Somewhat wistfully, then, Fontana informs us that the work was cut short by Alexander’s death and that some of the stuccoes that had recently been realized were removed. In any event, there can be little doubt that Alexander had intended for Bernini, a master of illusionism in figural sculpture, to provide theangeloni who were to be placed and posed to appear almost magically to support the dome.

The seriousness of Alexander VII’s intentions can be gauged by his orders in 1666 to “finish the Rotonda” with money he was allotting to the operation. A report in 1667 that scaffolding was being built in the interior “to embellish the whole with stuccoes” proves that work moved forward.40 Although his successor, Clement IX Rospigliosi (1667–1669), had the decorations removed, remains of Alexander’s work are visible on the surface of the dome in the version of Pannini’s famous painting now in Copenhagen. (See Fig. 11.1 and the comments by Pasquali in Chapter Eleven.) Other evidence of his goals are to be seen in two drawings for coffer decorations composed of the Chigi family arms (six-pointed star, six mounts, intertwined laurel). One drawing shows three vertical portions of the dome with decorated coffers (Fig. 10.7). The other drawing is a carefully drawn transverse section of the rotunda, with additions of the proposed decoration to the coffers added in another hand. Above the transverse section is a view into the dome with Alexander’s name and the family stars deployed around the oculus (Fig. 10.8). There is no evidence that the precise features in either drawing were realized in the Pantheon and, as I have argued extensively elsewhere, neither of these drawings can be attributed to Bernini.41 They represent the vision of his patron, a learned Sienese pope who wished to mark the Pantheon with his own erudition and presence. The nature of these ambitions no doubt led his successor to pull down some of his decorations.


10.7. Project for decorating the coffers with the arms of Alexander VII Chigi; ink and wash. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi P VII, 9, fol. 113 r)


10.8. Transverse section showing proposed coffer decorations; drawing in several hands from workshop of Carlo Fontana. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi P VII, 9, fol. 111–112)

Longer lasting were the inscriptions from Psalms 149–150 that Alexander had ordered painted on the unbroken surface above the entablature of the main order and below the attic level. On the left (east) side of the rotunda, one read the words LAUS EIUS IN ECCLESIA SANCTORUM (Let His Praise be in the Church of the Saints); on the right (west) side, upon entering one saw the words LAUDATE DOMINUM IN SANCTIS EIUS (Praise the Lord in His Sanctuary). Clearly visible in the Pannini paintings, the inscriptions commemorated Alexander’s deep regard for antiquity in the service of the Church, even referring to the function of the Pantheon (Santa Maria ad martyres) as a burial site for all martyrs (see Plate II). Once again, however, fate intervened, for the inscriptions were obliterated during the eighteenth-century refashioning of the attic (Plate VIII).

To a great extent Alexander VIII’s attitude followed in the tradition of other papal caretakers of the Pantheon, from Gregory III (731–741), who covered the dome anew after the despoliation of Constans II, to Martin V (1417–1431) andEugene IV (1431–1447), who continued this work, to Nicholas V (1447–1455), whose lead roof tiles still exist (see Fig. 9.14).42 Later campaigns devoted to providing lead tiles for the roof were recorded under Pius II (1458–1464) and Clement VII (1523–1534), and surely others as well. On the other hand, there was a compulsive aspect to Alexander’s attentions, which spanned his entire pontificate. In the spring of 1655, for example, during his first pontifical year, he ordered an inspection of water damage to the dome. Late in the summer of 1656, he sent Borromini to examine the bronze doors of the Pantheon and how they were hung (la positura), surely to determine whether they were ancient despite their unusual composition with a grating above the leaves.43 In 1662, he spent successive evenings studying l’occhio della Rotonda (“the eye of the Rotunda”) in drawings and a clay model of the building. He commissioned a study of the stone that composed the surviving pavement (see Plate V), and his architects studied the possibility of glazing the oculus to prevent further water damage. Many of his projects were concluded just months before his death.

In the mid fourteenth century, the mystic Hermann of Fritzlar had maintained that demons had opened the oculus in an effort to escape the building upon its Christian consecration. By the sixteenth century, concerns were more prosaic. A scheme for covering the oculus to prevent water infiltration had been mooted in 1591, during the brief papacy of Innocent IX Facchinetti (October to December 1591) under the architectural guidance of Giacomo Della Porta.44 Della Porta knew the potentially destructive power of rainwater and must have been especially concerned about it, as he had brought the Acqua Vergine to the piazza in front of the Pantheon and constructed the fountain there in 1575.45 His scheme for covering the oculus took the form of a wooden lantern to be covered by lead. With the same proposal, Della Porta also advocated the construction of a new sewer for drainage around the exterior perimeter of the rotunda. With Innocent IX’s death, however, the proposals came to nothing.

By contrast, Alexander’s project was considerably more sophisticated and came with greater resolution for its construction. The Alexandrine project called for a system of glass pieces arranged “in the manner of fish scales” over a low, conical framework of metal splayed around the points of a star-shaped termination, reminiscent of the pope’s family symbol (Fig. 10.9). Repeatedly mentioned in the last year of the pontificate, it was to be installed by using the same scaffolding erected to mount the decorative stuccoes in the coffers of the dome. Noted in April 1667, less than a month before Alexander’s death, the mission to close the oculus of the Pantheon once again came to an inglorious conclusion, and the eye to the sky remained uninterrupted.46


10.9. Project for glazing the oculus of the Pantheon; ink and wash drawing from Bernini workshop. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi P VII, 9, fol. 114 r)

Evidently, the notion of glazing the oculus survived into the early eighteenth century, when James Gibbs claimed that “there can be no reason against it, unless it to be the folly of some whimsicall Antiquarys” and indeed the proposal resurfaced only to be rejected in 1758 (see Chapter Eleven). So far as the literature indicates, the oculus has remained open from antiquity to our day, still a surprising fact for visitors who arrive on a rainy day to discover the center of the pavement wet, slippery, and roped off for safety.

Alexander VII and Piazza della Rotonda

As in other aspects of the Pantheon’s history, there was a long background to seventeenth-century efforts to clear Piazza della Rotonda. Flavio Biondo’s De Roma instaurata, published by 1446, explains how Eugene IV (1431–1447; the book is dedicated to him) uprooted the “squalid little market stalls” in the portico and cleared the portico’s column bases of their accumulated filth “to better reveal the beauty of this wonderful building.”47 He probably also had the piazza paved. This in turn must have given rise to questions about jurisdiction over the piazza, for in 1442, during Eugene’s exile in Florence, Romans protested the execution of two citizens by papal authorities. Part of the protest involved ransacking Piazza della Rotonda and the portico when, according to the diarist Stefano Infessura, “all the roofs of Santa Maria Rotonda were destroyed, and the piazza was ruined, and afterwards, all the market stalls alongside the columns of the portico were demolished.”48 I take this to refer to the roofs of vendors in the portico, which are so prominent in Figures 1.7 and 9.1, and to the market stalls that were located on the piazza. These merchants paid rents to the Chapter of Santa Maria della Rotonda, and destroying their booths and stalls was a form of rebellion against religious authority. New ordinances to clean the piazza at least once a week and to restore the paving realized by Eugene IV were issued under Clement VII (1523–1534).49

The intersection of finances and jurisdictions often conspired to limit the power of successive popes to rid the Pantheon of the encroachments that weakened its structure and compromised its appearance. More than any other force, it was the Chapter of Santa Maria della Rotonda that insisted on the presence of the markets and vendors on the piazza, despite the goal of antiquarians to liberate the building of parasitic activities. Their vision is the one most often recorded in Renaissance drawings, which often indicate that commercial activities were fully accommodated within the portico (Arnold Nesselrath characterizes it as a kind of “covered market”), while the piazza was barren but for two Egyptian lions in granite and a massive porphyry urn. The lions were commandeered for the Moses Fountain in 1586, and the urn was first put under the portico and then incorporated in the Corsini Chapel in S. Giovanni in Laterano. In truth, the record over time suggests a battle between economically healthy squalor and a comely space barren of commerce.

A key step in the development of the piazza took place in 1575 when Della Porta constructed the fountain that still provides an ancillary focus of interest on the site. A measured plan made for Alexander VII illustrates how the fountain was situated with reference to the dimensions of the piazza, rather than to the axis of the Pantheon (Fig. 10.10. The fountain, which has never been moved, is located slightly to the west of the north–south axis of the Pantheon in order to conform more closely to the center of the space than to the Pantheon’s axis. Moreover, Della Porta rotated the axes of the fountain to be more closely aligned to the flanks of the piazza than to those of the portico. Some of these subtleties can be observed on the site: standing at the north side of Piazza della Rotonda and looking south, one sees that when the apex of the dome is aligned with the peak of the pediment, the fountain (and its eighteenth-century embellishments, including the obelisk) will appear offset to the west.50


10.10. Plan of Piazza della Rotonda with proposed changes on east border; anonymous drawing, ca. 1660. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi P VII 9, 106 r)

The explanation for this lack of congruence is clear from the drawing. The placement of the fountain responded more emphatically to the shape and dimensions of the piazza in 1575 than to the presence of the temple front. The columns of the portico were, after all, partially buried, and its pavement was some seven steps lower than the grade of the piazza at this time. In addition, before Urban VIII’s repairs, the east bay of the portico was walled up and cut off from the piazza. The two essential components of the urban tissue – temple and piazza – lay thus side by side without intimate connection. In a sense, the piazza had been lifted away from the Pantheon, which became a powerful but not commanding border to the urban space. Things might have been different. Urban VIII had dreamed, as had Eugene IV in the fifteenth century, of isolating the Pantheon from the buildings attached to it and clearing the piazza of the scourge of vendors, thus to unify the temple and the area that served as its forecourt in antiquity. But this was not to happen, not even partially, until the time of Alexander VII.51

Alexander’s vision for Rome is legendary, the stuff of scholarly books and rafts of articles. His ambitions at the Pantheon were no less impressive than at other sites and, in some senses, even more grand, but they did not always come to fruition. In 1661, for example, we have evidence of his dream to knock down the block of houses between Piazza della Rotonda and Piazza Maddalena in order to enlarge the piazza/forecourt to its ancient dimensions. Like Urban, Alexander knew this to be the northern extent of the ancient piazza from reports of excavations made for the church of the Maddalena in the 1630s, when large sections of paving were found to match the paving dug up directly in front of the Pantheon. By 1662, however, the plan to unify the piazza was abandoned, probably because it was too expensive.52 Nonetheless, Alexander did pursue the notion of grading the piazza to the ancient level.

This last project must have been tantalizing, but it too had to be scaled back. To bring the piazza down to its ancient level would have required reburying sewer lines; moreover, new sets of stairs would be necessary in front of every building around the piazza, and they would have intruded on the liberated space. Surrounding streets would have required stepped or ramped access points. For all of these reasons, the pope’s ambitions had to be reconsidered. Instead, he ordered the existing piazza to be graded progressively from north to south, so that the bases of the columns on the venerable front would finally be cleared and the full height of the facade revealed. That work was begun in 1662 and terminated only in 1666. Early in the course of this campaign, Alexander had hoped to clear and widen the streets to either side of the Pantheon, effectively liberating the building in a manner related to the ambitions of Eugene IV and Urban VIII, as mentioned. At one moment during the planning process, the road on the east (left), connected to the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, was to be flanked by porticoes (logge). The expense estimated for this operation, some 17,000 scudi, proved to be too great, however, and the enterprise was abandoned.53

Late in 1662, Alexander set plans in motion to restore the two missing columns on the east side of the portico. Replacement columns were found in pieces near the church of S. Luigi dei Francesi in 1662, but they were set in place only in 1667, using traditional techniques rather than the ancient procedure for piecing that was employed on other columns of the portico.54 Operations for the restoration of the portico were carried out between February and April 1667, a month before Alexander’s death. A drawing in the Chigi archives suggests that, initially, he envisioned restoring all three east-facing columns and refitting their capitals (Fig. 10.11). Even the corner capital (right in the drawing), with the Barberini bee, was to be replaced, perhaps in part to efface the distasteful recollection of Urban VIII’s activities here. When the work was finished, the bee capital remained in place although the two new columns adjoining it and the new entablature do bear the emblems from the Chigi escutcheon.55


10.11. Study for the capitals and entablature to repair the east side of the Pantheon portico, with Chigi star and mounts; anonymous ink and wash drawing. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi P VII, 9, fol. 109 r)

Perhaps the most potent and intractable challenge to Alexander’s efforts in restoring the Piazza della Rotonda related to its function as a market. Alexander’s dealings with the vendors and with the Chapter of Santa Maria della Rotonda illustrate just how far a pope could or could not go to realize urban ambitions. The Chapter rented spaces in the portico and on the piazza to merchants, who in turn found the location exceptionally lucrative. How could Alexander dissuade the Chapter from exercising its perceived rights? How could he induce the vendors to ply their arts elsewhere? Alexander tried his best, but his efforts were destined to be thwarted. Here, in short order, is what occurred:

June 1656: vendor’s table removed from the porphyry sarcophagus.

March 1657: vendors’ booths confined by edict to travertine lines laid in the ground.

June 1657: papal orders for demolition of houses abutting the Pantheon.

January 1659; January 1661; June 1661: corresponding entries in Alexander’s diary, the last of which says, “For the third time let’s chase that flower seller from in front of the left column of the portico.”

October 1659: Alexander considers issuing a commemorative medal depicting la rotunda accomodata.

July 1662: booths and stalls were demolished at Piazza della Rotonda.

January 1663: new facilities for the vendors built at nearby Piazza di Pietra were torn down.

February 1663: new stalls and booths were laid out on Piazza della Rotonda.

March 1663: the new accommodations at Piazza della Rotonda were complete.56

Because the vendors in the portico and on the piazza produced rents for the Chapter of Santa Maria della Rotonda, the loss of this income became a point of contention. The idea of transferring the vendors en masse to the nearby Piazza di Pietra was mooted in 1662, but despite careful preparations to accommodate them there, they returned to Piazza della Rotonda by the end of the year.57 Opposed by the persistence of fruit, vegetable, and spice sellers, fish-mongers, butchers, and bakers, as well as the Chapter, the pope retreated. He ordered the construction of new booths and stalls in orderly fashion behind the fountain, as we see in a plan of 1663 (Fig. 10.12. Steps down into the porch are still shown here, and so the piazza had not yet been graded.)58


10.12. Plan of Piazza della Rotonda; drawing by Felice della Greca, 1663, with handwritten additions of 1704. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pantheon II.19, fasc. 3, fol. 688 r)

Yet another impediment to the liberation of the Pantheon from its urban context was the claim of the Chapter of Santa Maria della Rotonda to adjoining properties it used to house its canonry. In a sketch plan by Bernini, we see the architect experimenting with a location for rebuilding the Chapter house on either side of the portico (Fig. 10.13). We can also see that diagonal sightlines on the sides of the portico take into account the location of the fountain, for the lines converge where the fountain (not depicted) was located. As we recall, Della Porta had located the fountain to the west of the Pantheon’s principal axis, and this is why, despite the urge for regularity, Bernini feathered the lines on the west (right) side of the portico, as they oscillate between symmetry and reality, where the fountain is and where Bernini wanted it to be. The Chapter house was ultimately located on the east (left) side of the rotunda and behind the portico, as depicted in Bernini’s elevation sketch of the site, an elevation that not incidentally does not include the twin bell towers so often misattributed to him (Fig. 10.14). The Chapter house was rebuilt here between 1663 and 1665.


10.13. Sketch plan for the Pantheon and flanking streets; chalk drawing by Gianlorenzo Bernini, 1662 to early 1663. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi a.I.19, fol. 29 v)


10.14. Elevation project for the facade and flanking blocks; chalk drawing by Gianlorenzo Bernini, 1662 to early 1663. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi a.I.19, fol. 30 r)

In recounting the antiquarian interests stimulated by the Pantheon in the seventeenth century, we need to mention a last pair of drawings that record the musings of Alexander VII, likely in the presence of his favorite architect, Bernini. A sketch plan of the building and its immediate urban context, drawn in a somewhat shaky, thoroughly economical style, can be attributed to the pope on the basis of his characteristic handwriting (Fig. 10.15).The plan is undated, but at this stage the attached buildings will have been stripped from the rotunda and the Chapter house is designated where it was actually built on the east side of the portico. Dotted lines across the front of the portico indicate a desire to adjust the opening of the flanking streets onto the piazza in a symmetrical manner. Most interesting of all, Alexander drew the portico as a hexastyle front, rather than the octastyle front that we know it was. Could he have been thinking about reducing the number of columns across the front, possibly inspired by the missing columns on the east? We cannot be sure. What is interesting is that the pope shared the idea with Bernini, who responded with one of the most lyrical architectural drawings of his career, a rapid, shimmering vision of the Pantheon (Fig. 10.16). His temple stands isolated in space and time, a simultaneous evocation of interior and exterior shapes stripped to their essences. The Chapter house is reduced to a single horizontal roofline, the pediment ornamented only by imagined statuary, and the facade reduced, like Alexander VII’s, to a hexastyle front.


10.15. Hexastyle facade project in plan, with flanking streets; pen and ink drawing, hand of Alexander VII, 1662 to early 1663. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi M. VIII.60, fol. 168 r)


10.16. Hexastyle facade project; chalk drawing by Gianlorenzo Bernini, 1662 to early 1663. (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi a.I.19, fol. 66 r)

What words were exchanged in this exercise of imagination and archaeology? What were these men thinking? Might the image of Palladio’s hexastyle Tempietto at Maser, which was patterned after the Pantheon, have intruded on their thoughts, as it surely did in the contemporary design for Bernini’s church at Ariccia?59 We may never know. Giovanni Battista Falda’s engraving of the site gives a good indication of what Alexander did achieve on the piazza: the terrain was graded smoothly from north to south, the stalls for vendors were reerected systematically behind the fountain, the columns of the portico were replaced, and a Chapter house was rebuilt behind the portico on the east side of the rotunda (Fig. 1.20).

The seventeenth-century history of the Pantheon is important because it reveals a good deal about antiquarian thinking at the time and because it helps to explain the way the monument and its urban context look today. Whereas the period 1400–1600 was critical for the study of the building, these centuries left relatively little that we find in today’s Pantheon. By contrast, as will be seen also in the following chapter, the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries left a record of many considerations and features that provoke fuller discussion of the Pantheon’s reception over time. Some of those projects and achievements gave form to concepts shared by popes in earlier times – Eugene IV, Nicholas V, and Innocent IX, for example – while others looked forward to works that were again mooted and occasionally carried out. There was the issue of the attic to grapple with, and so too the piazza. In the mid eighteenth century, Pope Benedict XIV (1740–1758) took in hand the definitive revision of the attic on the interior of the rotunda, hiring Paolo Posi to install the ornament that all visitors now see, its windows neatly aligned with the piers and the alcoves below them, and without any vertical elements that might interrupt a consistent vertical arrangement of decorative elements.

In 1733, Leone Pascoli proposed uniting Piazza della Rotonda and Piazza Maddalena, very much according to Alexander’s ambitions. The idea then came up a hundred years later under the administration of the Comte Camille De Tournon during the Napoleonic occupation in the first decade of the nineteenth century (see Fig. 1.21). Yet again, the first Master Plan of Rome of 1873, after the unification of Italy, reflected the full extension of the piazza envisioned during the Chigi pontificate. After the death of Victor Emanuel II, first king of united Italy, the architect Pietro Comparini projected a huge “Monumento Nazionale al Re Vittorio Emanuele II” at the Pantheon in 1881 (see Fig. 1.24). It was to be highlighted by an equestrian statue of the king, in some ways uniting the idea and imagery of the Campidoglio with the Pantheon, thus molding imperial, royal, and civic ambitions into a single enterprise. Because nothing was done, the Pantheon and Piazza della Rotonda continued to be a charged canvas on which successive leaders hoped to leave a mark. In the Fascist era Armando Brasini (1879–1965) designed a “Foro Mussolini,” also borrowing heavily from earlier schemes, including Comparini’s (see Fig. 1.25). The vision included a commemorative statue of Il Duce and a sunken plateau to be surrounded by famous ancient statues borrowed from Rome’s best museums. Against these very public imperial pretensions, Alexander VII’s plan to install his name and family emblems around the oculus of the dome seems almost timid. Above all, the works and ambitions of Urban VIII and Alexander VII may serve to demonstrate why any number of far-reaching plans was unlikely to succeed with so many stakeholders to satisfy and so many interests to serve. Moving forward in time, the wonder is that anything at all was realized from the broad corpus of projects, plans, and proposals.

1 Frank G. Moore, “The Gilt Bronze Tiles of the Pantheon,” American Journal of Archaeology 3, 1899, pp. 40–43.

2 David Karmon, The Ruin of the Eternal City: Antiquity and Preservation in Renaissance Rome, Oxford 2011, pp. 147–169, reviews the preservation history of the Pantheon with valuable bibliographic citations, including a reference to Sible De Blaauw, “Campane supra urbem,” Rivista di storia della chiesa in Italia 47, 1993, pp. 367–414.

3 Karmon 2011, pp. 150 and 267, n. 23.

4 Karmon 2011, pp. 149 and 267, n. 22. The seven steps are mentioned in Ottavio Panciroli, Tesori nascosti dell’alma città di Roma, Rome 1625, p. 47.

5 Palazzo Venezia, Biblioteca di archeologia e storia dell’arte, Lanciani Collection, Roma XI, 22. I, 19702.

6 Karmon (2011, pp. 155 and 268–269, nn. 40–44) cites useful Renaissance source materials and older documentary sources, such as Eugène Müntz, “Les monuments antiques de Rome au XVe siècle: Nicholas V, Pie II, Paul II, Sixte IV, et Alexandre VI,” Révue Archéologique 2, no. 32, 1876, pp. 158–175.

7 Louise Rice, “Bernini and the Pantheon Bronze,” in Sankt Peter in Rom 1506–2006. Beiträge der internationalen Tagung vom 22–25 Februar 2006 in Bonn, ed. Georg Satzinger and Sebastian Schütze, Munich 2008a, pp. 337–352; Rice, “Urbano VIII e il dilemma del portico del Pantheon,” Bollettino d’arte 143, 2008b, pp. 93–110; Rice, “Pope Urban VIII and the Pantheon Portico,” in The Pantheon in Rome: Contributions to the Conference, Bern, November 9–12, 2006, ed. Gerd Grasshoff, Michael Heinzelmann, and Markus Wäfler, Bern 2009, 155–156. I want to thank Louise Rice for making her material available to me from the beginning of her discoveries.

8 Rice 2008a, pp. 340–347.

9 Rice 2008a, pp. 350–351.

10 Heinrich Thelen, Francesco Borromini: Die Handzeichnungen, Graz, 1967, vol. 1, pp. 32–37, C25–29, for Borromini’s work on the portico. Ian Campbell (Ancient Topography and Architecture, London 2004, p. 405) points out that some of the sixteenth-century beams are drawn incorrectly. My thanks to Carolyn Yerkes for bringing Campbell’s observation to my attention. For the sixteenth-century drawings, now see Carolyn Y. Yerkes, “Drawings of the Pantheon in the Metropolitan Museum’s Goldschmidt Scrapbook,” Metropolitan Museum Journal 48, 2013, pp. 87–120.

11 Howard Hibbard, Carlo Maderno and Roman Architecture 1580–1630, London 1971, pp. 230–231. See now Giovanna Curcio, “Maderno-Borromini-Bernini: I due progetti per i campanili del Pantheon,” Quaderni dell’ Istituto di storia dell’architettura 60–62, 2013–2014, pp. 155–168.

12 Too many otherwise useful sources could be listed here. Instead, see Tod A. Marder, Bernini and the Art of Architecture, New York 1998, p. 225; Marder, “The Pantheon after Antiquity,” in Grasshoff, Heinzelmann, and Wäfler 2009, p. 146; and Rice 2008a, 352, n. 57; she cites Borromini documents published by Oscar Pollak in 1928–1931, Heinrich Thelen in 1967, Marcello del Piazzo in 1968, Howard Hibbard in 1971, and M. Kahn-Rossi and M. Franciolli in 1999. Yet the attribution to Bernini, totally absent from the documents, lives on.

13 Rice 2008a, p. 337. Two lines of the tablet on the right have been altered.

14 Rice 2008a, pp. 337, 352. Anne-Christin Batzilla, “Bronzeniet vom Pantheon,” in Barock im Vatikan 1572–1676 (exh. cat. Bonn and Berlin), Leipzig 2005, p. 142, no. 54.

15 Rice 2008b (“Urbano VIII”), pp. 94–95; and Wilson Jones, this volume.

16 For this and the following paragraph, I again rely entirely on Rice 2008b, pp. 96–102, 106–110, with the original transcriptions.

17 Rice 2008b, p. 102.

18 Tilmann Buddensieg, “Das Pantheon in der Renaissance,” Kunstgeschichtliche Gesellschaft zu Berlin. Sitzungsberichte, n. f. 13, 1964–1965, pp. 3–6; Buddensieg, “Criticism and Praise of the Pantheon in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,” Classical Influences on European Culture AD 500–1500: Proceedings of an International Conference Held at Kings College, Cambridge, April 1969, ed. R. R. Bolgar, Cambridge 1971, pp. 259–267; Buddensieg, “Criticism of Ancient Architecture in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” Classical Influences on European Culture AD 500–1500, ed. R. R. Bolgar, Cambridge 1976, pp. 335–348.

19 Much of this discussion originates in my earlier studies; see Tod A. Marder, “Bernini and Alexander VII: Criticism and Praise of the Pantheon in the Seventeenth Century,” Art Bulletin 71, no. 4, 1989, pp. 628–645; Marder 1998, pp. 225–237; Marder, “Symmetry and Eurythmy at the Pantheon: The Fate of Bernini’s Perceptions from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day,” Antiquity and Its Interpreters, ed. Alina Payne, Ann Kuttner, and Rebekah Smick, New York 2000, pp. 217–226.

20 Corrado Maltese, ed., Francesco di Giorgio. Trattati di architettura ingegneria e arte militare, vol. 1, Milan 1967, pp. 280–281, Plate 147; C. H. Ericsson, Roman Architecture Expressed in Sketches by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Commentationes Humanarum Litterum 66, Helsinki 1980, pp. 219–220. See Chapter Nine in this volume for further comments on the drawing.

21 Sebastiano Serlio, Il terzo libro dell’architettura, Venice 1540.

22 Serlio 1619, Bk. III, 50r; Bk IV, 171r ff., in Vaughan Hart and Peter Hicks, Sebastiano Serlio on Architecture, 2 vols., New Haven 1996–2001; vol. 1, 1996.

23 Uffizi A 874 v, published with transcriptions in Alfonso Bartoli, I monumenti antichi di Roma nei disegni degli Uffizi di Firenze, 6 vols., Rome 1914–1922, vol. 3, Fig. 414; vol. 6, pp. 76–77. For other aspects of Sangallo the Younger’s critique, see Chapter Nine.

24 Andrea Palladio, I quattro libri dell’architettura, Venice 1570.

25 “Per diametro della bellezza, e finezza di capitelli Michelangelo Buonarota si maraviglia anzi diceva, che dal primo Cornicione in giù era disegno angelico e non umano.” The full passage was printed in Carlo Fea, Miscellanea filologica critica e antiquaria, 2 vols., Rome 1790 and 1836; vol. 2, p. 241, and referenced in Theodor Schreiber, “Über unedirte römische Fundberichte,” Berichte über die Verhandlungen der königlich sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Philologisch-historische Classe 37, 1885, pp. 127–153 (reference kindly given me by the late Richard Krautheimer). See Chapter Nine, p. 289 here.

26 Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de’più eccellenti pittroi scultori ed architetti, vol. 4, ed. G. Milanesi, Florence 1906, pp. 511–512. See Marder 1989, p. 638, n. 39, and Chapter Nine, pp. 286–290, for Vasari’s words.

27 Documentary references in Marder 1989, p. 638, n. 38.

28 Information kindness of Christy Anderson.

29 Inigo Jones on Palladio: Being the Notes by Inigo Jones in the Copy of I Quattro libri dell architettura di Andrea Palladio, 1601, in the Library of Worcester College, Oxford, ed. Bruce. Alsopp, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1970, p. 57. Inigo dated his notes to “ye last of May 1614,” but later added on the same page, “Noat that in ye year 1625 the bras travi of the portico wear taken of to cast into ordinance by Barbarini ye Pope and travi of timbre put in the steed. This Will. Smith painter of burnishit worke tould me for he was thear preasant.” I owe the reference to the kindness of Christy Anderson. See Marder 2000.

30 Again, my thanks to Christy Anderson for originally bringing this notation to my attention.

31 Quoted in Marder 1989, pp. 634–635.

32 The letter was known to Stanislao Fraschetti, Il Bernini, Milan 1900, pp. 299–300, but never taken seriously. I argue for its importance in Marder 1989, with a transcription of the text.

33 I am not concerned here with the terms simmetria and euritmia that Bernini used to justify his reading (for which see Marder 2000, pp. 220–225), nor with the precise and measureable geometrical relationship of the main order to the pilastrini (for which see Ingrid D. Rowland and Thomas N. Howe, Vitruvius: Ten Books on Architecture, New York 1999, p. 147, Fig. 9).

34 See Mark Wilson Jones, Principles of Roman Architecture, New Haven 2000, pp. 114–116, and Fig. 6.14 for the Porta dei Borsari.

35 For illustration, see Wolfgang Lotz, Architecture in Italy 1500–1600, New Haven 1995, Fig. 150.

36 Sir John Soane’s Museum, vol. 26. See Marder 2000.

37 Marder 2000, pp. 222–223, for references.

38 Famiano Nardini, Roma antica, Rome 1665, p. 335, is cited along with the others in Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV), Chigi M VII, LX, fols. 139–141, and BAV, Pantheon I, 17, fol. 177ff., both of which are datable to Alexander VII’s reign. See Marder1989, p. 642, n. 53

39 Carlo Fontana, Templum Vaticanum et ipsius origo. Cum aedificiis maxime cospiquis antiquitus & recens ibidem constitutes…, Book 7, Rome 1694, pp. 454, 459–461, 467, and 473, cited in Marder 1989, pp. 640–641.

40 The avviso is given in Marder 1989, p. 630, n. 17.

41 Marder 1989.

42 Arnold Nesselrath, “Il Pantheon,” La Roma di Leon Battista Alberti. Umanisti, architetti et artisti alla scoperta dell’antico nella città del Quattrocento, exhibition catalogue, ed. Francesco Paolo Fiore in collaboration with Arnold Nesselrath, Milan 2005, pp. 190–198; Karmon 2011, pp. 152–155.

43 Tod A. Marder, “Alexander VII, Bernini and the Urban Setting of the Pantheon in the Seventeenth Century,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 50, 1991, pp. 273–292; p. 289.

44 John Patrick Donnelly, S.J., “To Close a Giant Eye: The Pantheon, 1591,” Archivum Historiae Pontificiae 24, 1986, pp. 377–384.

45 Tod A. Marder “Piazza della Rotonda e la Fontana del Pantheon: un rinnovamento urbanistico di Clemente XI,” Arte illustrate 59, 1974, pp. 310–320.

46 For all drawings and documentation, see Marder 1989, pp. 629–634.

47 Carlo Fea, Dei diritti del Principiato sugli antichi edifizi sacri e profane in occasione del Pantheon di Marco Agrippa, Rome 1806, pp. 12, 39–40; Karmon 2011, p. 152.

48 Karmon 2011, p. 153.

49 Francesco Cerasoli, “I restauri del Pantheon dal secolo XV al XVIII,” Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma 37, 1909, p. 283.

50 Marder 1991, pp. 274–275; Marder 1974, pp. 310–320; and now the essays by Emma Marconcini in La Fontana del Pantheon, ed. Luisa Cardilli, Rome 1993, pp. 31–63, with still more documentation.

51 For Eugene IV, see Fea 1806a, pp. 12, 38–40; for Urban VIII, see Fea 1790 and 1836, vol. 2, num. XVIII, p. 139; and for Alexander VII, see Marder 1991, pp. 274–276.

52 On the topic of Alexander VII and the mechanics of expropriation, see Maria Grazia Damelio, “Gli espropri per la costruzione del colonnato di San Pietro a Roma,” Città e storia 1, 2004, pp. 159–167; and later Damelio, “Expropriation, Forced Sale, and Compensation: Legal Institutions and Professional Practice in Rome during the Pontificate of Alexander VII Chigi (1655–1667),” in Property Rights and Their Violators: Expropriations and Confiscations 16th–20th Century, Bern 2012, pp.121–136.

53 Marder 1991, pp. 278–279.

54 See the fascinating article by Volker Hoffmann, “The Repaired Columns of the Pantheon,” in Grasshoff, Heinzelmann, and Wäfler 2009, pp. 195–199.

55 Marder 1991, p. 284; and now Nicoletta Marconi, Edificando Roma Barocca. Macchine, apparati, maestranze e cantieri tra XVI e XVIII secolo, Rome 2004, pp. 250–260, with precise descriptions of the methods used to install the columns. The architect for the work was Giuseppe Paglia, who came into conflict with Bernini here at the Pantheon and again at the completion of the Elephant and Obelisk monument in front of S. Maria sopra Minerva, and on many other occasions. See Tod A. Marder, “A Finger Bath in Rosewater: Cracks in Bernini’s Reputation,” in Sankt Peter in Rom 1506–2006, Beiträge der internationalen Tagung vom 22–25 Februar 2006 in Bonn, ed. Georg Satzinger and Sebastian Schütze, Munich 2008, pp. 427–434.

56 Marder 1991, pp. 276–283, with archival citations.

57 Details in Marder 1991, pp. 281–282.

58 Marder 1991, pp. 277–281.

59 For the relationship of the church at Ariccia to the Pantheon, see my early publications, cited in Marder 1991, nn. 82 and 108, as well as Marder 1998, pp. 239–258. The then-owner of Palladio’s Villa and Tempietto at Maser, Pietro Basadonna, was the Venetian ambassador to the court of Alexander VII and a papal intimate.

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