Shirley Smith

Renaissance Art Historian

Tel. +44 (0)1728 638 271

Email. [email protected]


The Garden House, Bruisyard,

Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 2ED

The Rebuilding of St. Peter's: A Triumph of Indecision

In the early 16th century, Pope Julius II decided to rebuild the ancient basilica of St. Peter's. It took eighteen designers working under more than twenty different Popes over a period of one hundred and fifty years to complete. The debate on the form it was to take masked a much deeper debate touching the very heart of the Western Church which had been shaken to its foundations by the Reformation.


This lecture will study the various plans and ideas submitted and why, ultimately, Michelangelo's design was altered into what we see today.



Michelangerlo St Peters (Back View) 1546-64

Image source: Web Gallery of Art

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