In the 16th century, Pope Gregory assigned the monk and geographer Ignazio Danti to carry out the project. In turn, Danti hired several artistic stars of the day and up-and-comers as well to illustrate the maps, including Girolamo Muziano, Cesare Nebbia and the Flemish brothers Matthijs and Paul Bril. The Brils excelled at landscape paintings—an essential skill for the work.
This 4-year restoration project is a great cultural revival, but it also reveals the importance of geographic information. The Vatican was a great medieval seat of both religious authority and political power. This attracted prominent visitors from all over Europe and the map gallery served to convey geographic information about the Italian peninsula.