Hope for salvation and salvation granted
Beene, Jenny Marie
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This thesis is a discussion of the burial chapel of Pope Sixtus V in Santa Maria Maggiore and also his reburial ceremony, which occurred in the nave of Santa Maria Maggiore in August of 1591, a year after the pope’s death. What is referred to as a tempietto catafalque, designed by papal architect, Domenico Fontana, was erected before the apse of Santa Maria Maggiore for the celebration of the reburial. The author argues that the domed and centrally-planned form of the catafalque of Sixtus V functioned as a recognizable symbol of Christ and, therefore, salvation. Both the form and the symbolic meaning of the catafalque used in the reburial of Sixtus V derive from the monumental sacrament tabernacle, also by Domenico Fontana, located at the center of the pope’s burial chapel.