The Vatican I, Rome, Italy


This photochrome print of Vatican City is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites in Italy” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Shown is Saint Peter’s Square (Piazza di San Pietro), which adjoins Saint Peter’s Basilica, one of the world’s largest Christian churches. The church and square are named for the Apostle Peter, the first Bishop of Rome and the first pope. Saint Peter is buried beneath the altar of the basilica. The square, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), features two massive colonnades of Doric columns that form an ellipse around the square. More than a hundred Baroque statues of saints, dating from 1662 and 1703, surmount the colonnades. Two 14-meter fountains grace the square: one by Carlo Maderno (1556–1629) dating from 1613, and the other by Bernini dating from 1675. The towering red granite obelisk that stands in the center of the square was brought from the Temple of Heliopolis in Egypt in 37 AD by the order of Emperor Caligula. The 25-meter monolith is crowned by an iron cross; on its pedestal a Latin inscription reads: “Behold the cross of God. Christ conquers; Christ reigns; Christ rules.”

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Publishing Company, Detroit, Michigan


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.
  • Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J--foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905.
  • Print no. "1173".

Last updated: September 4, 2013