(b. 1562, Sesto Fiorentino, d. 1629, Roma)

Tomb of Clement VIII (detail)

Cappella Paolina, Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

Pendant to the Cappella Sistina in the right transept of Santa Maria Maggiore, built by Domenico Fontana, the Cappella Paolina is on the opposite side of the church. It was founded by Pope Paul V three months after his election in 1605. Its structure was substantially complete by 1611, and the altar was finished two years later. The architect was Flaminio Ponzio, and the scheme that he adopted derived directly from the earlier chapel.

In the Cappella Paolina the lateral walls are again filled with tombs, on the right that of Clement VIII and on the left that of Paul V. Architecturally Ponzio's tombs are faithful reproductions of Fontana's, but the decoration is much richer, the reliefs are carved in greater depth, and are designed with stronger visual emphasis.

The following main elements of the sculptural decoration are on the tomb of Clement VIII.

In the centre: the statue of the Pope by Silla LONGHI.

In the upper register: Conclusion of Peace between France and Spain by Ippolito BUZZI (left relief); Coronation of Pope Clement VIII by Pietro BERNINI (central relief); Canonisation of St Raymond and St Hyacinth by Giovanni Antonio PARACCA (right relief); Caryatides by Pietro BERNINI.

In the lower register: Surrender of Ferrara by Ambrogio BONVICINO (left relief); Gian Francesco Aldobrandini Leading the Papal Troops against the Turks by Camillo MARIANI (right relief).

The photo shows Ippolito Buzzi's Conclusion of Peace between France and Spain (left) and Pietro Bernini's Coronation of Pope Clement VIII in the upper register.