Tiberio Alfarano and the Memory of St. Peter’s Early Christian Atrium

Abendvortrag von Sible De Blaauw


The atrium or entrance courtyard was the longest surviving element of the Early Christian basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome. Yet it has not received the attention it deserves in historiography, in part due to enormous gaps in information. The only consistent account of the atrium et quadriporticus that was handed down to later generations is a chapter in Tiberio Alfarano’s extensive description of the Old and New Basilica completed in the early 1580’s and reflected in his plan of 1571 and its printed version of 1590.

This lecture attempts to read Alfarano’s text as a testimony to one of the most evocative creations of Early Christian architecture, and the endurance of that creation through the centuries. The nature of Alfarano’s observations, his historical sources and the intellectual and spiritual context of his perceptions and interpretations will be discussed.

Veranstaltungsort /Address/Indirizzo

Villino Stroganoff
Via Gregoriana 22
00187 Rom

Anna Paulinyi
+39 0669 993-227


Mittwoch, 27. März 2019
18.00 Uhr


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Sible De Blaauw

is professor emeritus of Early Christian Art and Architecture at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Krautheimer Guest-Professor at the Bibliotheca Hertziana. His research focuses on the interaction between architecture and liturgy and on the survival and reception history of Early Christian monuments, particularly in Rome.