(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

Laying the Foundation for the Old Saint Peter's Basilica

Sala di Constantino, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

In the Sala di Constantino, the last and largest of the Vatican Stanze, completed by the workshop after Raphael's death, there is a scene of the founding of Saint Peter's. A cleric/architect displays a design for the church before Pope Sylvester I; it is presented under the auspices of the Emperor Constantine, who kneels in deference to the pope, after having personally inaugurated the construction. The plan is thought to reflect Raphael's ideas for Saint Peter's at the end of his life, a fitting memorial by the master's closest associates and followers. Although sadly damaged now, in its original appearance the painting distinctly exhibited a floor plan with three ambulatories around the choir, side chapels, an aisle on either side of the long nave, towers placed at each corner of the façade and columns standing within the atrium.

This fresco was executed by Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni.