Baldachin, St. Peter's, Vatican City, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1624–33—SCALA/Art Resource, New York

Freestanding canopy of stone, wood, or metal over an altar or tomb. The Italian term baldacchino originally referred to brocaded material from Baghdad hung as a canopy over an altar or throne. The characteristic architectural form consists of four columns supporting entablatures, which carry miniature colonnades topped by a pyramidal or gabled roof. Gian Lorenzo Bernini's famous bronze baldachin (1624–33) stands at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

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