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Pope Sixtus V And Roman Art And Architecture

1588 words - 6 pages

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 of new structures in Isfahan, a brand new capital city, as opposed to a plan of improving an ancient city by Pope Sixtus V in Rome. When Shah Abbas was crowned king at age seventeen, he immediately began to restructure the government by setting up a new bureaucracy and taxation system while strengthening the country's military. With Iran's new sense of power and strength, Shah Abbas moved the capital to Isfahan. By doing so, the city saw a substantial increase in population, especially in its merchant population. Shah Abbas developed an urban area in which he called New Julfa to accommodate the large influx of people. There he built new schools, churches and commercial structures that would serve as the "new" Isfahan.Royal Square, Maidan-i Shah, served as the cornerstone of Shah Abbas' Isfahan construction. Surrounding the square was a two-storied arcade in which Shah Abbas had four major buildings constructed, one on each side of the Royal Square. Located on the north side is the bazaar that is a testament to Shah Abbas' desire to stimulate...

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