The biggest and best surprise for me in Rome was the Vatican Museum. I had been to Rome once before. I didn't get to see the Sistine Ceiling and didn't realize that the room it was in was part of the Vatican Museum. I have favorite museums, the National Gallery of Art in DC, The MET in New York City and The Isabella Stewart Gardener museum in Boston.
Add to the list the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy.
We had an early tour and I got a couple pictures of waiting in line before the doors opened.
While the Sistine Ceiling and Last Judgement are impressive (no pictures allowed) I was amazed at how beautiful all the ceilings were.
Hall of Maps
At first, our tour took us down hallways with ordinary objects displayed. I thought... interesting... everything has a story so I am sure there is a good story behind these objects and why there were here.
There was a gorgeous stained glass Mary and Jesus that I took some time to stop and look at and take a picture. That is one thing about this tour. It was fast moving. I guess to get the 5 million people a year (or 20,000 a day) through the Vatican they have to keep us moving.
We briefly went outside in the Pine cone courtyard, which is named after large bronze pine cone that once was a fountain. It was originally next to the Pantheon and then in the Middle ages it was moved to the Old St. Peter's Basilica and in 1608 it was moved to this location. 1
Copy of the Lions of Nectanebo
Then things got exciting as we moved toward sculptures! Yay, I really like sculptures, maybe because I grew up with a dad that was a bronze artist and made many sculptures or maybe because as a portrait photographer I feel I can connect and take pictures of sculptures.
River god (Arno)
There is a little cat in his jar.
Laocoon and His Sons
This sculpture is one of my favorite. I learned about it during my humanities class in college and was amazed and a bit awe struck when I was standing in front of it!
This sculpture was found 1506 in Rome. It is an almost life size marble status of the Trojan priest Laocoon and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by a sea serpent. 2
More statues in marble and bronze
Collection of Contemporary Art
Then the biggest surprise of the tour. Contemporary and modern art! I had no idea. We were running through a room when I looked over and saw Rodin's Thinker. I stopped and got a quick picture. I had to keep moving to keep up with the group and not get lost.
Rodin, Thinker, 1880-1882
Vincent van Gogh, Pieta, 1890
Henri Matisse, The Virgin and Child, 1949
Donated by Pierre Matisse, 1980
Salvador Dali, The Trinity, 1960
Salvador Dali, Soft Monster in Angelic Landscape, 1977
For someone who enjoys art as much as I do the Vatican Museum was a highlight of the trip!
1 Fontana della Pigna
2 Laocoon and his sons
Art Talk Series Highlights
Art Talk: Introduction
Art Talk: Emotion in Bronze
Art Talk: Moore Across America
Art Talk: Bronze
Art Talk: Moore in America
Art Talk: King and Queen
Art Talk: Art Tells Our Story
Art Talk: Highlight Tour of the MET
Art Talk: The Burghers of Calais
Art Talk: Auguste Rodin
Art Talk: Art in Paris in the 1870s
Art Talk: Guest Blogger, Frankie O'Neill
Art Talk: "Felt is a happy fabric."
Art Talk: Murals in Klamath Falls
Art Talk: Woman with a Parasol- Madame Monet and Her Son
Art Talk: Respect and Compassion
Art Talk: Art Connects Us
Art Talk: My mother's crystal
Art Talk: Mother and Child
Art Talk: Tour of the Galleria dell' Accademia
Art Talk: Walking tour of Florence, Italy