Imperial Dreams
“Me, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.”
The Imperial style, seen as the basis of modern European Christianity, was born during the reign of Charlemagne who was responsible for building the connection between the Roman Empire and the Christian World in Europe. The basic principles of the Imperial style allude to historical continuity; the construction of the all-inclusive residence as the centre of power both for the aristocracy and the church; the building of the court academy as the centre for the dissemination of wisdom and knowledge and a constituent part of the role of the Roman Emperor as the absolute ruler. In addition, both the church and the ambitious bourgeois aristocracy followed concepts borrowed from antiquity, transforming them into the ideals of “good rule” and personal virtue.
Palazzo Barberini, The Triumph of Divine Providence ceiling fresco

1632–1639
Rome, Italy
Pietro da Cortona
The fresco, which celebrates the supreme authority of the papacy, is rooted in the style of the Holy Roman Empire. The presentation of this one-dimensional world-view and its celebration of the absolute ruler is the basis of absolutism.