Supreme Knight, Prof. Carl A. Anderson visited the Sepulchre.
The Tomb by Antonio Pollaiuolo.
Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson, accompanied by Mrs. Dorian Anderson and Count Enrico Pietro Demajo met with His Eminence Comastri, Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica for the initiative for the restoration, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, of the Tomb of Sixtus IV (Della Rovere, 1471-1484).
The funeral monument is one of the most important masterpieces of Italian art, which has always been an object of admiration and particular attention by renown artists, experts and a vast public diversified by age and cultural inclinations.
This work of art, which is visited daily by hundreds of pilgrims at the Museum of the Treasury, continues to rouse great interest and marvel. It was created by Antonio Pollaiolo (1431-1498), Florentine artist, one of the best known for his works in "silver, gold, paint and bronze."
He dedicated himself with untiring commitment to this work for nine years, where he left his name and date for future generations on this incomparable splendor. The Pope, represented with an impressive realism, in his solemn pontifical parameters lies on the top of the sepulcher.
He is surrounded by the Seven Virtues (three Theological and four Cardinal), while on the sides of the monument, among acanthus leaves, the Allegories of arts and science (Philosophy, Theology, Geometry, Music, Perspective, Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic, Astrology and Arithmetic). This grandiose monument of Sixtus IV, promoter of the construction of the Sistine Chapel, was originally located within the Chapel of the Choir, also called the "Sistine of St. Peter," which the Ligurian Pontiff had built and consecrated (December 8, 1479) on the southern side of the ancient Basilica.
In 1568, the sculptural group of the Pietà by Michelangelo, sculpted at the age of 23 in 1498, was placed in this chapel. Michelangelo himself was an earnest admirer of Pollaiolo's artwork.
This delicate restoration which has recently been undertaken by the Vatican Chapter, availing of expert history of art restorers, will return this famous monument to the Basilica with its original refined and elegant splendor of its day, thanks to the patient intervention of cleaning and removal of substances which have settled on it during the ages.
The restoration should be completed in 2008, exactly 510 years after the death of Pollaiolo.