Pagan Works of Art
In Rome there are numerous works of art intended for Pagan deities and Roman emperors perverted into Christian notabilities.
ANGELS, in St. Peter's of Rome, are old Pagan statues of Cupids and winged genii. GABRIEL in St. Peter's of Rome, is an old Pagan statue of the god Mercury.
JOHN THE BAPTIST, in St. Peter's of Rome, is made out of a statue of Hercules. ST. CATHERINE, in St. Peter's of Rome, is made out of a statue of the goddess Fortuna. ST. GILES (or EGIDIUS), in St. Peter's of Rome, is a statue of Vulcan.
ST. PAUL. Sixtus V. perverted the original statue of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus into that of St. Paul. This beautiful marble column, 170 feet in height, contains a spiral of bas-reliefs of the wars of the Roman emperor, wholly out of character with the statue which surmounts it.
ST. PETER. The same Pope (Sixtus V.) converted the original statue of Trajan, on Trajan's column, into a statue of St. Peter. This exquisite column, like that of Antoninus, contains a spiral of bas-reliefs, representing the wars of Trajan. Surmounted by St. Peter, the perversion is absolutely, ludicrous. In St. Peter's of Rome the statue of St. Peter was meant for the old Roman god Jupiter.
VIRGIN MARY. This statue, in St. Peter's of Rome, is in reality a statue of Isis, standing on the crescent Moon. See Twentieth Century, 1892: Rome.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894