The beautiful wrought-iron gates of the Cappella Clementina, in the church of San Giovanni in Laterano (St John Lateran), are an example of the blacksmith's art at its very best. The gates were designed by the Florentine architect Alessandro Galiliei (1691-1737) and executed by Francesco and Pietro Ceci.
The huge chapel, the size of a small church, was designed by Galilei and built between 1734 and 1736 for Pope Clement XII (r. 1730-40), who is buried in the crypt.
To one side of the chapel stands a grand funerary monument to Clement XII. The bronze statue of the pope is by Giovanni Battista Maini (1690-1752). The two allegorical statues, Abundance and Magnificence, are the work of the Roman sculptor Carlo Monaldi (c.1683-c.1760). Directly opposite stands a marble statue of Cardinal Neri Corsini, the pope's uncle, also the work of Maini.
The Cappella Clementina is almost never open, but its beautiful gates can always be admired.
Alessandro Galilei, at the behest of Pope Clement XII, also designed the facade
of St John Lateran, Rome's cathedral.
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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