The statue of Pope Urban VIII (r. 1623-44), in the Musei Capitolini, was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and members of his studio between 1635 and 1640.
On becoming Pope, Urban VIII is said to have remarked to Bernini: 'È gran fortuna la vostra, o Cavaliere, di vedere papa il cardinal Maffeo Barberini, ma assai maggiore è la nostra, che il Cavalier Bernini viva nel nostro pontificato' ('It is your great fortune, Cavaliere*, to see Cardinal Maffeo Barberini as Pope, but it is a much greater fortune for us to have the Cavaliere Bernini alive in our pontificate').
Pope Urban VIII is interred in St Peter's Basilica. His magnificent funerary monument is the work of Bernini.
*Bernini was made a knight (cavaliere) by Pope Gregory XV (r. 1621-23) in 1621.
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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