The funerary monument to Pope Urban VIII (r. 1623-44), which stands in St Peter's Basilica, was executed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), who completed it in 1647.
The monument is made up of a bronze statue of the pope, seated atop a marble pedestal. Death takes the striking form of a winged skeleton, who sits on a bronze sarcophagus writing the pope's name on a cartouche. The two marble statues are personifications of Charity and Justice.
Pope Urban VIII belonged to the Barberini family, whose coat arms is made up of three bees. Bernini added a number of the heraldic bees to the monument. Several gilded bronze bees, for instance, can easily be spotted on the marble pedestal.
Blogging about Rome,
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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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