12 March 2014

A little baroque humor: Tiara bearing angels

Some months back I noticed a curious detail in Bernini's great baldacchino which towers over the papal altar in the Basilica of St. Peter. I did not have my camera at the time (and haven't thought to take a picture of it since), but I noticed it again yesterday on the facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore:

As I look at the way the angels hold the papal tiara, and especially so on the baldacchino, I cannot help but wonder if the angels aren't looking about asking each other, "On whose head shall we plop this next?"

Given Pope Francis' expression when he emerged on the loggia to greet the faithful for the first time as the Successor of Saint Peter, one wonders if he didn't wonder the same:

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