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Bill Thayer

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The Top of Trajan's Column

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A bronze statue of a bearded man in flowing robes, haloed and holding a book in his left hand and a large key in his right. The statue stands on a round stone base further secured by a metal brace. It is a view of the statue of St. Peter atop Trajan's Column in Rome.
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Taken with a telephoto lens from half a football field away.

Originally the Column appears to have been crowned by a statue of the emperor Trajan himself, as is only logical. This statue "disappeared" during the Middle Ages: in 1587, Pope Sixtus V seized the opportunity to Christianize the monument with this depiction of the apostle, looking for all like a fashionable Roman nobleman of the period. The statue is by a pair of relatively little known artists, Tommaso della Porta (c. 1550‑1606) and Leonardo da Sarzana (before 1530 - after 1589).

St. Peter is looking towards the Vatican, naturally.


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Page updated: 23 Aug 01