“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.” —Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Happy Wednesday! We are almost done with January already, how crazy is that?! I hope that everyone has had a great 2013 so far. For me, things have been super busy, but today I printed out my ms in order to start the redlining process. Well, I’m 70 pages short because my dinky little printer ran out of ink, but I’m close! That’s an easy fix! I’m really excited but also really, really nervous, guys.
Anyways, yes, I have more pictures from Rome! We spent several days there, that’s my excuse! I also just didn’t want to forget anything – I definitely didn’t stay glued to my camera lens the whole time, but after I would stare at EVERYTHING I would take pictures.
So this time, I wanted to show you pictures I took when we went to the Vatican Museums. First, this place is huge! And also very busy. We decided to go on a Wednesday morning, because that is when the Pope greets the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, and we had read that it is easier to get to the Sistine Chapel during this time.
It did work! The only thing I would suggest to travelers about the area leading up to the museum entrance [and I only say this because we experienced it. . ] is to keep an eye on the beggars. A lady who looked to be around her 30s, walked right up to us with her hand out, and when we tried to ignore, she tried to stick her hand into my husbands front pants pocket. I’m not even exaggerating. Luckily his hands were at his sides so he was able to grab her fingers in time and told her very sternly to back off, and she did, but holy shit, that was a little too much excitement that early in the morning. So yes, keep an eye out!
Enough rambling from me, here are some pictures! Since I took so many, I am just picking some of my favorite pieces. There are around 500 years of collections here, so there is a lot to see.
So we immediately headed for the Sistine Chapel, not looking at everything initially. But even with our master plan of going in the morning, there was still a huge crowd. The way the museum is laid out, you actually have to go through most of it in order to reach the chapel.
Once there, it was worth the walk. Photos aren’t allowed [though many people do try to sneak it, I could spend all day watching people’s attempts], and since it is a chapel, silence is required. My one problem though is that so many people are allowed in at a time, that silence just isn’t possible. There are guards though who hush everyone every few minutes, which certainly doesn’t help with the overall ambiance. While we weren’t there for religious reasons, we were there to get a chance to see this amazing feat by Michelangelo, and let me tell you, it’s beautiful.
The Vatican does offer a virtual tour on their site – The Vatican.
After shuffling slowly through the chapel and soaking in as much as we could, we left and started from the beginning. All of the art is, of course, religious in nature, so after a while the themes start to blend in, but there were a few pieces that really stood out.
There are a few pieces by masters in the museums – we found [because it felt like a treasure hunt sometimes] this piece by Rafael in a dark room, which together made up an altar piece.
There were two other pieces by Raphael in that space as well, though not from the altar piece.
Unfortunately we somehow missed all the Rafael frescoes, which we were really bummed about. If you aren’t paying attention to where you are going, it can be easy to get lost.
There was also this tapestry of The Last Supper.
We stumbled into the antiquity section [well, one of them], and I had to share of picture of these, because it was something I hadn’t seen before – the eyes on these were freaking me out.
As we made our way through, we found this statue, and something about him just drew me to him. I stood in front of him for a long time, just looking over all the details. According to the plaque [and the internets], he was a youth that was favoured by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. He drowned in the Nile, and apparently the emperor was devastated and made sure that his memory was celebrated, and had him proclaimed a god. He also wanted him to be a constellation, but that request was denied. BUT he was the only non-imperial head to ever appear on the Roman coin. And apparently, he is one of the best-preserved faces from the ancient world thanks to Hadrian’s efforts to remember him.
That’s dedication, everyone.
We then found this small area that wasn’t very busy, and it was full of items from Egypt, and we were gawking at the time period they were from.
After a lunch, we were pretty exhausted and decided to head out.
Overall, the museum was impressive and had some amazing key pieces of artwork. But be prepared for a lot of walking, and a lot of people.
I know there were a lot of pictures, but there were some things I just didn’t want to leave out!