366 IV. Bight Bank. KUMlJi. "• San Pietro
the walls and the marble pavement are by Giacomo della Porta
On the pavement of the Nave, dose to the centrai door, is a
round slab of porphyry on which the emperors were formerly
crowned, when it occupied its originai position in front of the high
aitar in the old church. On the pavement beyond it are inscribed
the lengths of several other large churches (see p. 364). The pillars
on each side, with Corinthian pilasters and rich entablature, are
connected by arches and support the gorgeously coffered and gilded
barrel-vaulting of the ceiling. The niches of the pillars contain
statues of the founders of various orders. By the first two pillars
of the nave are two holy-water basins supported by colossal putti.
By the fourth pillar to the right, on a throne of white marble
beneath a canopy, is the sitting * Statue of St. Peter in bronze
(PI. 1), brought by Paul V. from the destroyed monastery of San
Martino al Vaticano, a work of the 5th cent., though now ascribed
by some to the 13th century. The right foot is worn smooth by
the kisses of devotees. In front of the statue are two large cande-
labra. Above is a mosaic portrait of Pius IX., commemorating the
25th anniversary of his accession to the papal see, 16th June, 1871.
Pius IX. is the only pope whose pontificate was longer than that
ascribed to St. Peter.
The importance of the space beneath the dome, rising above the
high-altar and the crypt with the tomb of the Apostle, is accentuated
by the strong light failing from above. The Dome itself rests on
four huge piers, each 233 ft. in circumference, with niches and log-
gias added by Bernini. The lower niches are occupied by statues,
16 ft. in height, of (r.) St. Longinus (2), the soldier who pierced the
side of Christ, by Bernini, and St. Helena (3) by Bolgi, (1.) St.
Veronica (4 ; the finest) by Mocchi, and St. Andrew (5) by Duquesnoy.
The upper niches are flanked with spirai columns. From the loggia
above the St. Veronica the most sacred relics are exhibited on high
festivals, on which occasions the logge may be entered by none but
the canons of St. Peter's. These relics are the spear that pierced
the Saviour, a portion of the Cross, the sudarium of St. Veronica,
and the head of St. Andrew. Above the logge are four mosaics of
the Evangelists after the Cav. d'Arpino, of colossal dimensions.
The frieze bears the inscription in blue mosaic letters 6 ft. high
on a gold ground : Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo
ecclesiam meam et Ubi dàbo claves regni caelorum. The sixteen
ribs of the vaulting of the. dome are of gilded stucco ; between
them are four series of m«saics, in the lowest the Saviour, the
Virgin, and the Apostles. On a level with the lantern, God the
Father, by Marcello Provenzale, after the Cav. d'Arpino.
Beneath the dome stands the High Altar (Altare Papale),
consecrated in 1594, where the pope alone reads mass on high