The trial may have been a reaction to the political pressure being put on Pope Urban VIII by the Spanish (and others). Urban VIII saw Bernini as useful in his fight against the Reformation which he saw as a great threat. It was the pope who persuaded Bernini to study architecture and that led to him improving the Vatican as well as many fountains in Rome. Pope Urban VIII was not present in person, but he was there in spirit, for his personal feelings of anger and frustration were the driving force behind the extraordinary proceedings. He early entered the prelacy, became prefect of Spoleto, twice nuncio to France, cardinal (1606), and finally, on the 6th of August 1623, succeeded Pope Gregory XV as pope. The tomb of Urban VIII (1628–47) shows the pope seated with his arm raised in a commanding gesture, while below him are two white marble figures representing the Virtues. Under Urban VIII Bernini began to produce new and different kinds of monuments—tombs and fountains. Read Later ; Print. The Folly of Pope Urban VIII and the Banning of Astrological Prophesies of Papal Fates. Pope Urban VIII’s long reign included the Catholic church’s involvement in the Thirty Years War and the condemnation of Galileo as a heretic. (He did, after all, force Galileo to recant). He was born into a powerful Florentine family, but was raised mostly by his uncle in Rome and educated by Jesuits. Pope Urban VIII (baptized 5 April 1568 – July 29, 1644), born Maffeo Barberini, was Pope from 1623 to 1644. By attacking Galileo, the Pope could be seen as showing the more conservative elements that he was not a radical. Portrait of Pope Urban VIII, created in 1632 AD by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, is an oil-on-canvas painting that was commissioned by its subject and namesake. The Pope died on July 29th, 1644, calling down all the maledictions of heaven upon his enemies, and accusing them of having robbed him of many years of life through the vexations they had caused him. Urban VIII, given name Maffeo Barberini, Roman Catholic Pope from 1623 to 1644, was born in 1568, of a wealthy Florentine family. He was the last Pope to expand the papal territory by force of arms, and was a prominent patron of the arts and reformer of Church missions. He was the last Pope to expand the papal territory by force of arms, and was a prominent patron of the arts and reformer of Church missions. Bernini's theatrical style, Urban thought, would be influential. On April 12, 1633, chief inquisitor Father Vincenzo Maculano, appointed by Pope Urban VIII, launched an inquisition of Galileo and ordered the astronomer to … Urban VIII died disliked and in disgrace, his achievements as pope, such as denouncing the slave trade in the West Indies and Brazil, clearing the way for Jesuit missionaries to travel to South America, China and Japan and banning the use of tobacco in holy places – a decree that was repealed 100 years later – not given the recognition they deserved. 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