The funerary monument to Pope Pius VII (r. 1800-23) by Bertel Thorvaldsen is the only work in St Peter's Basilica by a Protestant sculptor. The monument was commissioned by Cardinal Consalvi, the pope's secretary of state, and carved between 1823 and 1831.
Pope Pius VII sits over a doorway, which once gave access to the Chapel of the Choir. The pope's throne is flanked by two small allegorical statues of History and Time, while larger statues of Fortitude (wrapped in a lion's skin) and Wisdom (book in hand and an owl at her feet) stand on either side of the door.
Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) was a Danish sculptor of international repute, who spent most of his working life in Rome.
Blogging about Rome,
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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