The Baldachin over the High Altar of St. Peter’s is a monument designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1624-33 to serve as a colossal way of marking the burial place of St. Peter. The Baldachin is made of gilded bronze and stands at an impressive height of 100 feet. This monument is directly under the dome of the basilica and covers the high altar of the basilica, signifying the importance of the altar and the tomb of St. Peter.
The Baldachin consists of four helical columns that are raised on marble plinths, and angels at each corner. The columns embellished with vines and leaves, representing the beauty of life, and the angels on top represent the spiritual beings in heaven. The monument took nine years to build, beginning in 1624 and culminating in 1633, which shows the dedication and effort that went into creating this masterpiece.
Overall, Bernini’s Baldachin is an incredibly captivating work of art that serves a significant purpose beyond its beauty. The monument plays an essential role in marking the burial place of St. Peter and symbolizing the importance of the high altar. It’s a testament to the exceptional artistry of Bernini, an artist who continues to be celebrated for his contributions to the world of art.