Papal Breach

Historical marble beloved by Bernini and widely used in Vatican and Roman churches of the 1600s and 1700s

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pontifical breach book

The pontifical breccia, sister to the ancient jasper of Sicily, found its greatest popularity in the Italian and European Baroque period. The churches of Rome of that period are full of works made with this stone, and in many historical documents of the time it is clear that it was the stone of choice for Bernini, who used it in many of his works: one of the most beautiful the tomb of Pope Urban VIII inside St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican where a jasper drape wraps the statues as if it were a fabric suspended in the void. Bernini was not the only one to use jasper, Borromini in Rome (notable the drape held by the angels made entirely of papal breccia), Vanvitelli used it in the royal palace of Caserta in the walls of the entrance hallway, the same use we find in the royal palace in Naples. Historical documents of the period report the sale of pontifical breccia blocks in France as well.

From the marble quarries of Custonaci, at the same quarrying site as the ancient jasper of Sicily, pontifical breccia is extracted, which is characterized by its brecciated textures and colorations ranging from red to yellow to green with pink intrusions.

We are among the few companies in the world to own and trade pontifical breccia blocks that are mostly used for restoration and inlay work and exceptionally for the creation of unique and exclusive objects.

St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican

His Holiness the Pope during the Christmas Mass