«La calunnia è un venticello...»: Giovan Lorenzo Bernini e le Logge delle Reliquie nella basilica di San Pietro a Roma
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: n.s. 2019, 2020
«La calunnia è un venticello»: Giovan Lorenzo Bernini and the Loggias of the Relics in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican
In 1636 the cracks in St. Peter’s dome were attributed to the works on the Loggias of the Relics, to a design by Gian Lorenzo Bernini: the resulting scandal produced a serious discredit to his reputation of architect. This works constitutes an addendum to the studies on the projects of Bernini for the crossing of St. Peter’s Basilica. According to his enemies, Bernini’s fault lied in having weakened too much the piers supporting the dome, by carving bigger niches and excavating staircases, corridors and rooms for the giant reliquaries in their section. All these works were supposed to have produced the several fissures of the dome, which are today ascribed to some defects in its construction as well as to the tension produced by the ground instability in the vicinity of the pier of the Veronica. In a life of triumphs, the charge of having compromised the stability of the dome was for Bernini a painful distress. To the point that, in his later years, he used his biography to contrast and deny the accusation, frequently referring to the technical and constructive difficulties he had found in his professional life.