Rome, Italy: Basilica of Saint Praxedes: Baldachin Sculpture

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Sheppard, Beth M.
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19-May-17
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Italy , Rome , Basilica di Santa Prassede all Esquilino , Basilica of Saint Praxedes , Naves , High Altars , Baldachins , Sculptures , Jesus Christ in Art , Mosaics
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The Basilica of Saint Praxedes (in Italian: Basilica di Santa Prassede, commonly known as Santa Prassede) is a Catholic basilica located in the Rione Esquilino (or district of Esquiline). Esquiline is the name of a Roman hill, one of seven on which the ancient city was built. The church was rebuilt by Pope Pasquale I in 822 CE and was restored multiple times since then. It was built principally as a resting place for the relics of Roman martyrs and was dedicated to the second-century Saint Praxedes, who was the daughter of a Roman senator. Along with her sister, Praxedes provided comfort and care to Christians persecuted in the Roman Empire. The sisters were murdered for burying early Christian martyrs, which defied Roman law. The church is known for being the most important example of early Christian Byzantine art in Rome because of the mosaics decorating its apse and side chapels. The high altar is emphasized with a baldachin topping four porphyry and multiple marble columns. This elaborate structure of Baroque style was built by the order of Cardinal Luigi Pico della Mirandola in 1730. The photograph shows a detail image of a marble sculpture that tops a corner of the baldachin. The mosaic of Christ in the background of the photo is part of the apse conch mosaic's artwork.
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CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
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