The “Gallery of Maps” is located on the western side of the Belvedere Courtyard in the Vatican Museum. It serves as the long hallway separating the Papal Palace from the Sistine Chapel. In 1580, Pope Gregory XII commissioned Ignazio Danti to decorate the 120-meter long hallway with maps of Italy. In three short years, (1580-1583) Danti managed and completed the hallway with the help of Girolamo Muziano and Cesare Nebbia. With the help from other manneristic painters and stucco decorators,they were able to create the beautiful collection of pictures seen lining the ceiling.
Of those responsible for the ceiling in Gallery of Maps, Girolamo Muziano (1532-1592) was the most popular. Muziano was born in Acquafredda, but spent most of his life in Rome. As a man known for his landscapes, Muziano helped intertwine the nature of a Christian faith with the geography of Italy. The other prominent artist responsible for the frescoes scenes on the ceiling is Cesare Nebbia. Nebbia (1536-1614), also an Italian painter, was born in Orvieto and studied under Girolamo Muziano. Some projects he was a part of were Santa Maria Maggiore’s Sistine Chapel, the Crucifixion for the Borghese chapel, and of course, the ceiling of the Gallery of Maps.
Even more than the ceiling's beautiful grandeur, the frescoes' symbolism and geographic placement within the great hall are astonishing. The fresco scenes that line the barrel-vaulted ceiling depict a variety of saints, apostles, martyrs, and other figures of Christianity. The figures within these frescoes can be linked to their location on the map, which is found on the wall just below the painting. The significance of these frescoes serve as a Bible story atlas for popular Christian events. The focus of the gallery is to relate each fresco to the region of Italy. This shows how Rome was the founding place of Christianity and the epicenter of Catholic teaching.