Another Vatican manuscript has come online, as I learn from @gundormr on Twitter here, and this one contains 16-17th century drawings of Old St Peter’s church in Rome. It has the rather awkward shelfmark of Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.A.64.ter, and may usually be found here, although I see tonight that the site is not working.
Here’s a small image in folio 10r, showing the courtyard outside the entrance, with annotations for the features. A detailed list of contents is here.
On the right is the papal palace, in the middle is the fountain of the pine-cone, and ahead is the mosaic facade of the old church, behind a portico.
This is all well and good. But the really spectacular part is if you download the image from folio 10r yourself. The resulting .jpg file is huge – and this has an interesting effect, when you open it on your screen. You find yourself zooming in, effectively, on different parts of the courtyard. Suddenly, we can see it! It’s like being there:
We can see the entrance in the middle into the basilica. That is not maximum resolution, by the way, either.
I can’t make out that much of the annotations, but it is simply wonderful to be able to do this.
Folio 12r is the inside of the basilica, and you can do exactly the same thing, and zoom in.
Well worth a look!