STERN, Raffaele
(b. 1774, Roma, d. 1820, Roma)

Interior view

1817-22
Photo
Braccio Nuovo, Vatican

One of the forward-looking type of architectural commissions of the second half of the 18th century was the museum. From 1770, but especially during the papacies of Clement XIV and Pius VI, the facilities for accommodating the countless classical and Early Christian works of art owned by the Church were steadily improved by successive extensions to the Vatican Palace. The Braccio Nuovo (New Wing) gallery of 1817-22 was erected by Raffaele Stern in Bramante's Belvedere court.

The elongated gallery with is domed space follows a scheme developed in the 18th century. The lavish use of marble and Roman floor mosaics provide a splendid setting for the classical statues. The extension of the Vatican museum was intended to demonstrate tangibly the leading role of the papacy in cultural and antiquarian matters.