Pope Alexander VII did more for Rome than any other Pope when in 1655 he employed the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini to reshape the city. Already celebrated as the greatest artist of his age, with Alexander, Bernini became part of one of the greatest artistic double acts in history, festooning Rome's historic centre with the sculptures, fountains and buildings that make it one of the world's wonders to this day. At a time when the papacy's political power and influence was in decline, it helped make Rome the must-visit destination for Europe's elite.
A lecture by Loyd Grossman
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