Pope Sixtus V and Roman art and architecture

Essay by david630University, Bachelor'sA, November 2004

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Pope Sixtus V and Shah Abbas envisioned improvements for Rome and Isfahan as they used construction of new buildings, streets and monuments to encourage further development of their prized towns. Sixtus V chose to show new order to Rome as a result of the Counter-Reformation. Shah Abbas focused on displaying Isfahan's wealth and power. Exploring articles pertaining to buildings and monuments as well as analyzing topographical maps can give a great deal of insight to the purpose behind planned cities. Both Pope Sixtus V and Shah Abbas sought to develop their cherished capital cities of Rome and Isfahan; however, each one desired to portray completely different ideas and values.

Since the beginning of the Counter-Reformation in the early 1500's, many changes occurred throughout Italy, and especially emanating from Rome. Many religious reformers had began to challenge some of the traditions and practices that the church had acquired, such as the corrupt event of indulgences where forgiveness of sins was merely a monetary price.

These corrupt fees helped fund the reconstruction of St. Peter's. Therefore, the Counter-Reformation looked to redesign the Roman Catholic Church. New churches were built and old churches were remodeled all catering to the "new emphasis on individual, emotional, congregational participation brought a focus on sermons and music..." (Stokstad p 724). The reformation was to help reassociate disgruntled lay people with the religion's revitalized focus on the individuals needs superceding the general conditions and needs of a group.

Pope Sixtus V sought to bring new order to Rome. He constructed new buildings dedicated to the governmental and religious needs. Sixtus V had a chapel built neighboring the basilica of Sta. Maria Maggiore in addition to greatly expanding the Vatican Palace among many other structures that already existed in Rome.

The focus of Shah Abbas dealt with the building...