Towards the end of the 15th century a spectacular wooden coffered ceiling was erected in the nave of Santa Maria Maggiore. It would be the first of many such ceilings to be installed in the churches of Rome.
The gilded ceiling bears the coat of arms of the Borgia pope Alexander VI (r. 1492-1503). The gold was presented by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Tradition has it that it was the first gold to come to Europe from the New World.
Below are some examples of other impressive coffered ceilings in the churches of Rome.
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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