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| Thesis|Thinking on Space Art|Glossary

Glossary for Thinking on Space Art 9


Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama

Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis


   Saint Peterfs Basilica


Apostle Peter

The worldfs biggest grand sanctuary, the head temple of the Catholic Church at the Vatican City in Rome. The sanctuary is built on the tomb of Peter, the head apostle of Jesus Christ, in dedication to him. The Vatican Palace where Pope lives, the Vatican Museums and other buildings are next to it.


Constantine I
Constantine I
Nicolaus V
Pope Nicolaus V
Julius II
Pope Julius II

The first sanctuary was built in the basilican style in the first half of the 4th century under the instruction of Emperor Constantine I (c. 274-337). (Construction started around 330 and completed around 390). In the middle of the 15th century, this sanctuary was pointed out that there was a fear of falling because of superannuation, so Pope Nicolaus V (1397-1455) instructed a repair work. Further in 1505, the decision of full-scale reconstruction was made by Pope Julius II (1443-1513). Donato Bramante (1444-1514 Italian architect, painter) was appointed the first chief architect, and cornerstone

Donato Bramante
Raffaello Sanzio

ceremony was held on April 18, 1506. Bramantefs plan was never implemented, and after his death, under a compromise between plans of Baldassare Peruzzi (1481-1536 Italian architect, painter) and of Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520 Italian painter), the construction proceeded. Around 1535, pillars supporting the main dome and vault over them were completed.

Michelangelo Buonarroti

A new plan and model based on Raffaellofs scheme were presented by Antonio da Sangallo (1458-1546 Italian architect) in 1546, but they were criticized by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564 Italian space artist). After the death of Sangallo, Michelangelo was installed in chief architect of the grand sanctuary.

Given up Raffaello's Latin cross plan, Michelangelo returned to the centralized Greek cross plan, devised by Bramante, and increased thickness of the pillars supporting the main dome. At the same time, he reduced the scale of whole construction to expedite the building work. In 1564, the year of death of Michelangelo, the construction reached the drum, substructure of the dome. Later from 1586 to 1593, the dome and its head part were completed by Domenico Fontana (1543-1607 Italian architect) and Giacomo della Porta (1541-1604 Italian architect).




In 1603, the construction of the grand sanctuary was taken over by Carlo Maderno (1556-1629 Italian architect), the remaining old sanctuary was decided to be completely demolished, and traditional Basilican nave and facade were to be added in the site of former sanctuary. Started in

Gianlorenzo Bernini
Martin Luther

1607, the construction of the facade finished in 1612, followed by the altar with canopy of bronze in the chancel and the elliptical-shaped piazza with the peristyle which Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680 Italian sculptor, architect) completed by 1667.


  It is a well-known fact that indulgence to procure the huge construction cost of Saint Peterfs Basilica was published, which triggered the Reformation by Martin Luther (1483-1546 German religionist).

(Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama. Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis)


  Angkor Wat


Suryavarman II
Suryavarman II

One of the best stone-built Hindu temple monument near Siem Reap in Cambodia. In the first half of the 12th century, it was built by the king of the Khmer Dynasty, Suryavarman II (1113-1150). The whole temple is surrounded by a moat extending 1300 meters from north to south, 1500 meters from east to west. The stone-paved main road to the Shrine stretches toward the western big gate on the moat.

The westren big gate
The western big gate
Charning of the Ocean of Milk
Churning of the Ocean of Milk

The western big gate has three towers. After passing through the big western gate, there are two sutras storehouses and two holy ponds on both sides along the approach to the Shrine. At the center, stands a central shrine encircled with three galleries. Relieves in the motif of Mahabharata story and Churning of the Ocean of Milk are found in the first and the second gallery. Also, Devatas, specific to the Khmer art, are carved in some places. A steeple whose motif is Mount Meru stands in the four corners of the third gallery and at the center.

Mount Meru
Steeple of Mount Meru

(Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama. Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis)

  Neuschwanstein castle


Ludwig II
Ludwig II

The castle built on the ravine of Fussen in the southwest part of Germany by Bavariafs king Ludwig II (1845-1886). The construction began in 1865 and almost completed in 1886, but was interrupted by the death of Ludwig in 1886.

Ludwig, who was Richard Wagner's (1813-1883 German composer) patron, built



Vault  with Siegfried

his castle for escapism after being banished from the government for extravagance of public funds. The main unit of the castle was made with his favorite basilica style of the Byzantine Empire, with courtyard, indoor garden, steeple and vault attached to it. Each room has wall paintings depicting famous scenes taken from music dramas of Wagner whom he worshiped. In the times of fierce civil war, when cool-headed power game was required in the process of unification of Germany, the sensibility of Ludwig could not endure it. Such situation drove him to shut himself up inside this castle, which is a copy of his mind, objectifying his autism. Meanwhile, as he did not give up the political power persistently, his vassals and people were pressed to choose the alternative of taking his daydream or his life.

(Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama. Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis)



The large-scale Buddhist monument in the eastern part of Java Island, Indonesia. In the Sailendra Dynasty revering Mahayana Buddhism, the construction was begun from around 780 under the reign of King Dharmatunga (King Vishnu) and generally completed around 792, yet extension work was conducted at the time of King Samaratunga (reign 812 - 832). The shape of Borobudur is a

Bell-shaped stupa
Bell-shaped cavity stupas
Great stupa
Great stupa

stepped pyramid with three-storied circular basic platforms mounted on five-storied square basic platforms, with the lowest base of 115 meters square in size. The edges of the five square basic platforms are walled and encircled by open air corridors. The stairs are located at the center of all sides, linking all levels of the circular basic platforms. There are as many as 1460 relieves in the corridors of the square basic platforms. The Buddhist statues are 504 in total: 432 in niches of the corridors, and the others are installed one by one inside the 72 hanging bell-shaped cavity stupas built on the three-storied circular basic platforms. At the center of the highest level, stands a great stupa; legend has it that relics of Gautama Buddha (B.C.563-B.C.483 the founder of Buddhism) was entombed here. It originally had a height of 42 meters, but was damaged to 33.5 meters at present. Borobudur represents itself one piece of a huge mandala or, as some people say, seems to be a creation modeled on Mount Meru.

(Written and translated by Taketoshi Murayama. Original translation is rewritten by Michiko Takahashi Christofis)

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