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The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant’Angelo (English: Castle of the Holy Angel), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The Castel was once the tallest building in Rome.
When Clement IX had the Ponte St. Angelo modernized, he decided to replace the fourteen stucco angels set up by Raffaello da Montelupo under Paul III with ten marble figures. Two statues were entrusted to Bernini, including the Angel Carrying the Crown of Thorns. The artist started work in 1667 and completed the two sculptures in 1669. It seems that the Angel Carrying the Crown of Thorns was partially executed by Paolo Bernini, son of Gianlorenzo, but it is difficult to point to any differences in style in the various parts of the statue. This statue and the second one commissioned from Bernini, the Angel with the Superscription, were later removed to Sant’ Andrea and copies substituted on the Ponte St. Angelo.