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Belvedere(bĕl`vədēr, Ital. bālvādĕ`rā), court of the Vatican named after a villa built (1485–87) for Innocent VIII. The villa was decorated with frescoes by Pinturicchio and others; a chapel painted by Mantegna was demolished when the villa was made part of the Museo Pio-Clementino at the end of the 18th cent. The Belvedere court, connecting the villa and the Vatican, was designed (1503–4) by Bramante for Julius II to include an architectural garden, a permanent theater, a museum building, and a statue court. The Laocoön, discovered in 1506, was placed in the statue court; in 1511 the Apollo Belvedere (see under ApolloApollo
, in Greek religion and mythology, one of the most important Olympian gods, concerned especially with prophecy, medicine, music and poetry, archery, and various bucolic arts, particularly the care of flocks and herds.
..... Click the link for more information. , in Greek religion) was installed in a special niche. When Bramante died in 1514, only a portion of the Belvedere was completed; many modifications were made under a succession of architects including Giuliano Sangallo, Raphael, Peruzzi, and Antonio Sangallo. Now a museum, the Belvedere still contains the Laocoön and the Apollo as well as other rare works of classical antiquity.
See study by J. S. Ackerman (1954).
(1) A tower, superstructure (most often round), or small, separate structure on an elevated spot, looking out on a distant view.
(2) The customary name for some palace structures located in beautiful natural settings, such as the summer residence of the pope in the Vatican (15th—16th centuries) and palaces in Prague (1536–60, architects G. Spatio and others), Vienna (1714–24, architect L. Hildebrandt), and Warsaw (1818–22, architect Ia. Kubitskii).