Art Talk: Vatican tour highlights

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

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