The two colossal holy-water stoups, which stand on either side of the nave of St Peter's Basilica, give a good sense of the sheer size of the church. The four cherubs that hold up the two stoups are each six feet tall.
The holy-water stoups (acquasentiere), which take the form of elaborately ornate shells, were commissioned by Pope Benedict XIII (r. 1724-30) and designed by Agostino Cornacchini (1686-1754). The shells of yellow marble are the work of Giuseppe Lirone, while the chubby cherubs were carved by Francesco Moderati and Giovanni Battista de Rossi.
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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