An Italian Sculptural Pilgrimage - part XV

Carved Marble Dragon Detail from Monument of Pope Gregory XIII in Saint Peter's Basilica (LEO Design)

Join me on my summer holiday as I travel (mostly) through Italy—as always, in search of beautiful sites, sculpture and all things sculpture-ish. 

This animated dragon decorates the monument of Pope Gregory XIII in Saint Peter's Basilica. He died in 1585 and the monument was completed over 100 years later (1715 - 1723) by late Baroque sculptor Camillo Rusconi. Despite this delay of honor, Pope Gregory XIII had an illustrious reign—for example, replacing the inaccurate Julian calendar with the better Gregorian calendar (which we still use today). Gregory was a church reformer. Under him the papacy grew in strength at the expense of (a sometimes corrupt) College of Cardinals. He put into effect the Council of Trent, covened (1545 - 1563) to address the Protestant Reformation. Further, under Gregory XIII, the Jesuits grew substantially, with their Roman College of Jesuits becoming the most important center of learning in all of Europe. Today, the college is called the Pontifical Gregorian University.

We'll continue our summer holiday tomorrow. 


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