Gallery of Maps
Galleria delle carte geografiche
Ceiling of the Gallery
Gallery of Maps is located in Vatican City
Gallery of Maps
Gallery of Maps
Location within Vatican City
Established1580; 444 years ago (1580)
Location Vatican City
FounderPope Gregory XIII
OwnerHoly See

The Gallery of Maps[1] (Italian: Galleria delle carte geografiche) is a gallery located on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard in the Vatican containing a series of painted topographical maps of Italy based on drawings by friar and geographer Ignazio Danti.[1]

The gallery was commissioned in 1580 by Pope Gregory XIII as part of other artistic works commissioned by the Pope to decorate the Vatican. It took Danti three years (1580–1583) to complete the 40 panels of the 120 m long gallery.


The panels map the entirety of the Italian peninsula in large-scale frescoes, each depicting a region as well as a perspective view of its most prominent city. It is said that these maps are approximately 80% accurate.

With the Apennines as a partition, one side depicts the regions surrounded by the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas and the other depicts the regions surrounded by the Adriatic Sea.

After the series of regional maps, there are two general geographical maps:

At the beginning and at the end of the gallery:

Other decorations

The decorations on the vaulted ceiling are the work of a group of Mannerist artists including Cesare Nebbia and Girolamo Muziano.

The gallery once displayed the so-called Azuchi Screens, who were gifted by the Japanese shogun Oda Nobunaga to Pope Gregory XIII in 1585.[2]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Gallery of Maps". Vatican State. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  2. ^ McKelway, Matthew (2006). "The Azuchi Screens and Images of Castles". Capitalscapes Folding Screens and Political Imagination in Late Medieval Kyoto. University of Hawaii Press. p. 296. ISBN 978-0824861773.

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