The photograph shown on the top of this site is a closeup of the Tabernacle within St. Peter’s Basilica.
This incredible work of art was crafted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1664. It is constructed of bronze coated with gold and with lapis lazuli, the striking blue stone that contrasts so beautifully against the gold.
The 12 Apostles are shown around the base of the dome, and a statue of Jesus is on top of the dome (not shown in this photo).
The angels praying before our Lord Jesus are also made of gilded bronze.
The design of the Tabernacle is modeled after the tempietto (tomb) [Italian for “little temple] designed by Donato Bramante in 1510 to mark the place of St. Peter’s crucifixion. The architectural wonder is located in the courtyard of St. Peter in Montorio, in Rome.
Bernini is one of the most talented artists to ever walk the face of the earth, and has many other pieces displayed throughout the basilica, the most famous of which is the baldacchino, (shown below) the breathtaking canopy of bronze over the central altar, completed in 1634.