Long Table 110. Bernini, Rome, and Numismatic Art

Join Dr. Matthew K. Averett, Associate Professor at Creighton University, for a look at the history of Early Modern Rome. With the return of the papacy to Rome after 1417, Pope Martin V found the city in a dismal state and resolved to fix it with “noble edifices,” thus permanently linking the papacy to the architecture and urbanism of the Eternal City. This grand project was completed 250 years later under Alexander VII, along with his architectural impresario, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The transformation of Rome was recorded on papal medals, which were commonly produced, distributed, and collected by elites across Europe, indicating these medals’ importance. A dozen of Bernini’s architectural projects appear on papal medals in various iterations, and this frequent appearance of Bernini’s architecture on medals suggests the centrality of his work in the image of Rome projected by the papacy to the elites of Europe.