SANGALLO, Antonio da, the Elder
(b. ca. 1455, Firenze, d. 1534, Firenze)
Wood and gold
Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
Antonio da Sangallo the Elder was an Italian architect, brother of Giuliano da Sangallo and uncle of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1484-1546). His main work as an architect is the church of San Biagio at Montepulciano, on a plan of Greek cross with central dome and two towers.
The coffered ceiling of the Nave of Santa Maria Maggiore was designed by Leon Battista Alberti, and completed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder. His brother Giuliano also had worked on the ceiling before him. The ceiling was made in the epoch of Alexander VI (1492-1503) and Christopher Columbus, the time of great voyages and the conquest of new territories. The pope's coat-of-arms inside a garland is a prominent feature of the central row of sunken panels, along with that of Callistus III (1455-1458), the pope who promoted the construction of the ceiling.