‘Eternal City’ professor notes papal influences, legacy of Bernini in Harvard Art Museums lecture.
Known as the “Eternal City,” a label that underscores its long history of both tests and triumphs, Rome is simultaneously the stuff of fantasy and fact, legend and legions, myth and matter. Once the center of an empire that spanned the Mediterranean and much of Western Europe, the Italian capital speaks through its architecture as a giant of history and influence.
On Thursday, Joseph Connors, a professor of history of art and architecture, took his listeners on a virtual tour of two of Rome’s iconic spaces, the Piazza San Pietro, also known as St. Peter’s Square, and the Piazza Navona. In each venue, Connors said, visitors see the influence of papal directives and desires alongside the artistic brilliance of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, an Italian sculptor and architect largely responsible for defining the city’s 17th-century look.
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