The Cappella del Ss. Sacramento (Chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament), in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, was designed by Domenico Fontana (1543-1607) for Pope Sixtus V (r. 1585-90). Better known as the Cappella Sistina, the chapel is decorated with marble panels, statues and stuccoes, and houses the sumptuous tomb of the eponymous pontiff, who, as a child, was a humble swineherd.
The chapel has a Greek cross plan, with short wide arms and a central dome. The entrance arm is flanked by two small octagonal chapels. The chapel to the right is dedicated jointly to St Lucy and the Holy Innocents, while the chapel on the left is dedicated to St Jerome.
The left arm of the Cappella Sistina contains the funerary monument to Pope St Pius V (r. 1566-72), which was designed by Domenico Fontana. The statue of Pope St Pius V, who was enshrined here in 1823, is by Leonardo Sormani (1550-90). The statue on the left wall is St Dominic by Giovanni Battista della Porta, the one on the right is St Peter Martyr by Il Valsoldo. Pope Pius V was a member of the Dominican Order, hence the presence of two Dominican saints.
The closely-matching funerary monument to Pope Sixtus V, in the right arm, was also designed by Domenico Fontana. The statue of Sixtus V is by Giovanni Antonio Paracca (1546-99), better known as il Vasoldo. The relief to the left depicts The Faith and Charity of Pope Sixtus, which is also by Il Valsoldo, and to the right The Justice and Benignity of Pope Sixtus by Nicholas Mostaert. The three upper reliefs are by Gillis van den Vliete: The Canonisation of St Diego of Alcalà, The Coronation of Pope Sixtus and The Reconciliation Between Emperor Rudolf and King Sigismund. The statue on the left wall is St Francis of Assisi by Flaminio Vacca. The statue on the right wall is St Anthony of Padua by Pietro Paolo Olivieri. Pope Sixtus V was a member of the Franciscan Order, hence the presence of two Franciscan saints.
The centre of the chapel is dominated by a large gilded bronze tabernacle (1590), the work of Lodovico del Duca. The four supporting angels are by Sebastiano Torrigiani.