On August 27th 1590 Pope Sixtus V (r. 1585-90) died. He is buried in the Cappella Sistina, the cavernous chapel he commissioned in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.
The statue of Sixtus V is by the sculptor Giovanni Antonio Paracca, better known as il Valsoldo.
In terms of building, Pope Sixtus V was one of the great benefactors of Rome. During his five-year reign, the dome of St Peter's Basilica was completed and the Lateran Palace and the Vatican Library rebuilt. The pope was the first man in thirteen centuries to build an aqueduct, namely the Aqua Felice, and this led to the creation of the Fountain of Moses. He had the Vatican Obelisk moved to St Peter's Square and the Lateran Obelisk erected outside the Lateran Palace. He also raised the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo. The pope also added the facade to the south side of San Giovanni in Laterano, the cathedral of Rome.
The achievements of Pope Sixtus V were matched by the speed with which his projects were carried out. For instance, the architects told him that it would take ten years to complete the dome of St Peter's Basilica. Brushing this aside, he had hundreds of men working day and night so that it was completed in just less than two years!
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 walking tours of Rome.
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