Vatican Museums: Selected Galleries: Large salon, Vatican Palace
Main gallery in the Palace; houses gifts of state.
Pope Julius II established the Belvedere sculpture garden behind the Vatican Palace. The Museo Pio Clementino was constructed by Michelangelo Simonetti, to take the Belvedere sculptures into a new display and to make room for the frantic new collecting of antiquities on which the papacy embarked, which soon required the additional accommodation of the Galleria dei Candelabri. Once the papacy was committed to centralized conservation, the collections rapidly expanded in the form of different museums on the Vatican site. Between 1807 and 1810 Canova directed the establishment of the Museo Chiaramonti, to display both pagan and Christian Antique sculpture; and by 1822 a large new gallery, the Braccio Nuovo, was required. Some galleries are within the Palace, others are external buildings.