Rome, unsurprisingly, is awash with papal coats of arms and my favourite example is to be found in Santa Maria in Aracoeli. It belongs to Pope Urban VIII (r. 1623-44) and crowns the counter-facade of the church.
An enormous stucco scroll supported by two angels bears an inscription, dated 1634, which extols the pope, who was a member of the Barberini family, hence the triad of bees.
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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