Study for the tomb of Pope Paul III in St Peter's, Rome

WAG 1995.52


Della Porta was appointed in 1585 to continue the construction of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, following designs by Michelangelo. The tomb of Pope Paul III was probably also designed by Michelangelo. This drawing shows the tomb figures as they were in about 1600. In 1593 the lower reclining figures had been covered by drapery as seen here. The upper figures were removed in 1602 by Teodoro della Porta, Guglielmo's son (1567-1638). The lower reclining figures represent Justice and Prudence and are thought to be likenesses of Pope Paul III's sister and mother. Guglielmo della Porta also signed himself 'Mediolanensis' (meaning of Milan), and both signatures appear on the base of the seated figure of Paul III.