November 18, 2008

The Vatican Museum

Jon and I just finished our four and a half hour exploration of the Vatican museum. They have the most spectacular collection of art - seriously.

All the art was incredible but there were some standout pieces.

There was the Transfiguration by Raphael. This was his last painting before he died at the tragically young age of 37.

There was the Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio - which is masterful, brilliant and genius.

There was the School of Athens also by Raphael.

Finally, the exclamation point to the whole collection was the Sistine Chapel - which was mostly painted by Michelangelo but also featured paintings by great masters like Botticelli and Perugino.

I am resting now, drinking a Coke and typing this account. I am trying to gather the intellectual energy to see St. Peter's Basilica. We were already in St. Peter's square earlier this morning, before we went into the Vatican museum. And now it's time to see Michelangelo's Pieta.

Rome never ceases to be interesting.

1 comment:

NJWT said...

I loved the hall of Maps. Also, did you notice how each section had a theme of trumping the culture that came before it. The Egyptian room put funerary tablets on display, which basically hammers a message that the Egyptians had been conquered, because that's not where those things were meant to be - as though those aren't really holy objects (and it's not like these curators haven't read about Egypt's role in the Bible). Again, in the Roman room, there is a Zeus like guy lounging out on the Sphinx, like Egypt's most prized works of architecture are just Roman lounge furniture. Then, right before the Sistine Chapel, on the ceiling, there is a picture of a cross knocking a Roman statue off its pillar to take its place as it smashes all over the floor.
I'm glad you're enjoying.