BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo
(b. 1598, Napoli, d. 1680, Roma)
St. Peter's Square, Rome
Soon after taking office, Pope Alexander VII occupied himself with the layout of St. Peter's Square, which he commissioned Bernini to design in 1656. This square, extending into the surrounding area and linking up with the city itself, became the counterpart to the dome of St. Peter's. The essential feature of this square is a series of constantly changing perspectives and open spaces. The square becomes an allegory of the Church triumphant.