Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Vatican Museum...

The Vatican Museum was one of the highlights of my trip to Italy. I was able to see so many important pieces of art that I had only ever seen in pictures. I also got to fall in love with things I never even knew existed. The greatest thing about the museum was that we didn't have to wait in line. Luckily, we were there first thing in the morning when they opened (because of the confusion with the Pope). Usually people have to wait hours in line. That was really nice.

The School of Athens by Raphael was a highlight of the museum. Here many philosophers are painted within this fresco on one Vatican wall. Plato is in the center on the left, with a beard and wearing blue and pink robes. Aristotle is on the right of Plato, wearing blue robes. There are also some painted with double identities, such as the figure sitting near the front center, just to the left, leaning on the pillar. It is the face of Michelangelo, but the philosopher is meant to be Heraclitus. The story goes that Raphael was about finished with this fresco. As the unveiling of the Sistine Chapel was taking place, Raphael went to have a look. He was so amazed that he came back to his School of Athens and painted Michelangelo. Raphael has also included a self-portrait; it is the image on the far right, second one in, with a black beret. He is looking at us. I thought this fresco was very interesting, and I could have studied it for hours.

The only disappointment to me was that I was not able to take pictures inside the Sistine Chapel. I was really looking forward to photographing it on my own. So, once again, I have had to include a picture of the ceiling from the internet. But, wow. How cool to actually see this in person. What an amazing man Michelangelo was. The ceiling was breathtaking.


Stacey said...

That is so amazingly beautiful in pictures, it must just be so overwhelming to be there!

Morkthefied said...

I loved your comments about the Vatican guards. So funny! Your pictures really make me want to go there. I think I would be on culture overload.