Piazza del Popolo / SM del Popolo:
A Multimedia Presentation of the church
and its setting

by Michael Greenhalgh, MA, PhD, FSA,
The Sir William Dobell Foundation Professor of Art History,
Australian National University

This is a third draft (at 4 January 2004) of project structure and contents:
currently it contains some 4.3Gb of images.
Several of the links are to simple place-holders, whilst
others have a preliminary selection of images and imagemaps.

Rationale I Rationale II Burckhardt: Civilization of the Renai ssance satellite images of Rome Monuments of Rome (1911 photos)
Survey of the Monuments of Italy Sketch-history of panoramas digital photography empty empty
A sketch-outline for a 8,000-record database, focussed on church monuments but with a great deal of other material as well, is available with small thumbnails and full-sized JPEGS or large thumbnails and reduced-size JPEGs;

Here is a preliminary layout for the treatment to be given to the Piazza and churches, arranged roughly by theme. Most of the files are selections of images waiting to be wrapped in appropriate text:

cityscape and the antique:

baroque and antiquity obelisks in Roman obelisks on Roman church monuments table of obelisks erected in Rome
the Papacy and Rome rebirth of antiquity use of spolia temporary architecture
urban design valadier villas water and fountains
planning chronology plans of Piazza del Popolo empty empty

Features of Roman tomb monuments:

acanthus allegorical figures tombs built into the structure inscriptions colour on tombs
coloured marble column monuments comparanda portraits of the deceased floorslab tombs
funerary iconography grotesques husband & wife pairs iconography lions
luxury marble extravagance marble chapel rails nonchalant saints organs
panoramas portraits portraiture prisoners imitations of antique sarcophagi
skulls classical stelai textiles bernini bibliography


  • All monuments, frescoes etc located within chapels are placed in the relevant chapels;
  • Monuments not in chapels (e.g. on the pillars of the aisles, the west wall, the floor) go in a separate imagemap called Imagemap of monuments;

    Ways to Enter the Project

    - by an imagemap of a panorama of the Piazza, a plan of the Piazza, chapels in SM del Popolo, and, eventually, perhaps, an imagemap for monuments not in chapels;

    SM del Popolo:

    As well as the materials accessible for browsing via the image database, or by selecting specific chapels etc in Sm del Popolo, there are also finished panoramas of the interior and some quicktime movies of the interior.

    Piazza del Popolo

    Images of historical views, modern views, and details of the barracks, fountains, obelisk, Porta del Popolo and the walls of Rome; plus panorama sections and built panoramas (including .mov files); plus a large collection of Plans of the Piazza del Popolo and vicinity from the renaissance to the 20th century;

    Plans and Views of Rome

    The above plans are just of Piazza del Popolo. Here is a selection of various plans of the City of Rome from the renaissance onwards:

  • Plans of Rome, by date
  • Tempesta's 1593 Plan of Rome.

    Other material that can help put SM del Popolo/Piazza del Popolo in context includes prints by Faldai, plus Vasi's Nuova Raccolta di Cento Principali Vedute Antiche e Moderne ... di Roma, and Letarouilly's Les Edifices de Rome Moderne. Important buildings for comparative purposes include Raphael's Villa Madama and the Domus Aurea from which it is partly inspired; plus of course Raphael's loggias and Pirro Ligorio's Casina di Pio IV. Items of classical sculpture in e.g. the Capitoline and Vatican. The Vatican Library provides a flavour of an expanding city, with many 16thC triumphalist frescoes of Papal schemes. The recently opened Palazzo Massimo section of the Museo Nazionale houses a splendid range of material; while Palazzo Mattei and Palazzo Spada give a flavour of the antiquarian context of the Renaissance.

    The Piazza leads to...

    The Ara Pacis Augustae, Castel Sant'Angelo (and with panoramas); the Piazza Augusto Imperatore (and with panoramas), and the Villa Borghese; plus a large collection of panoramas and Quicktime movies of Roman churches and sites;


    - of Aracoeli, Aventine, Aventine (cut), Campidoglio, Circus Maximus, Colosseum, Foro Italico, Roman Forum, Lateran, Lateran (cut), Palatine, Pincio (cut), Porta San Paolo, Rome from Castel Sant'Angelo, S Giorgio in Velabro, S Prassede, S Sabina, S Sabina( cut), SM in Trastevere, SM sopra Minerva, Tiber & Castel Sant'Angelo, Villa Giulia.

    Quicktime/MPEG Videos of Roman sites and Monuments

    click here;


    Everything below is simply a placeholder for the time being

  • artists
  • the Marble Plan of Ancient Rome
  • adjacent piazze
  • the obelisks of Rome
  • spolia in Roman piazze and churches
  • Giuseppe Valadier
  • water in Rome: aqueducts and fountains
  • Piranesi's Plan of the Campus Martius