Saint Peter’s Basilica was founded by Constantine around 325 AD and built in a fashion typical of early Christian architecture. By the dawn of the Renaissance in the early 1400s, this structure was dilapidated and in urgent need of repair. Restructuring was begun in the middle of the fifteenth century, but less than fifty years later the goal of shoring up the edifice was supplanted by the grand idea of a completely new building.
Tod A. Marder
Tod A. Marder, Ph.D., is professor of art history at Rutgers University. He is an expert in the art of Bernini, the city of ancient and modern Rome, and Renaissance and baroque art. He has published Bernini's Scala Regia at the Vatican Palace: Architecture, Sculpture and Ritual (Cambridge University Press) and Bernini and the Art of Architecture (Abbeville Press).