Monday 15 February 2016

Vatican Museum and the sistine chapel

Vatican museum and the Sistine chapel
Rating: 5 out of 5

St Peter's escape from prison - Raphael

Vatican Museum

Honestly, this is probably the most difficult place to review. I mean, what can you say? Who are we to review such masters? or such beautiful art? I have tried to review it here but really I can sum it all up in one word: Speechless!
The art in the Vatican museum is exquisite - you cannot help being moved by it.
Pope Leo meeting Atilla the Hun

The hall of statues and entrance include a lovely marble statue of Emperor Claudius I and a fantastic life size bronze of Hercules. 
Emperor Claudio
Hercules Bronze Statue

The great frescoes of Raphael adorn most of the walls and the 3D perception they create is truly unique.

Of course there are works from ancient Rome that inspired the renaissance artists be it marble statues or mosaic artwork. 

There is probably no museum like this in the world. I have been to so many but this one surprises me each time.

You start the visit by crossing the Pigna Courtyard which takes its name from the gigantic bronze pinecone placed in the middle, a work from the Roman Baths of Agrippa. Then you go into the Gallery of Maps which is 120 metre long and includes a set of all the maps of Italy.

Hall of Maps

In the Gallery of Tapestries, there are lovely tapestries woven in Brussels by Pieter van Aelst and represent the most significant religious events. In addition, there is a tapestry demonstrating the murder of Julius Caesar which by far is the best tapestry in the room.
Tapestry: Murder of Julius Caeser

You then pass room upon room of treasures, especially Raphael's frescos, Borgia Rooms, etc. It cannot be taken in in one visit!
Borgia rooms: Lucrezia Borgia

Outside the museum you can stroll down to St Peters' Square whose majestic colonnade was designed by Bernini, a masterpiece of art and technique.

The Sistine chapel

This is the true treasure of the Vatican. The Sistine chapel boats over 600 figures in the fresco. The sheer scale of Michelangelo's ambition and achievement dwarfs the viewer. The creativity and artistic quality of the paintings will leave you breathless. No amount of time spent there is enough to fully appreciate these paintings. Each painting is a story and the more you look, the more you see. I didn't even mind the crowds to be honest; in fact, didn't even notice them! I would recommend going there around Jan-Feb time - it's cold in Rome but the crowds are nowhere near the same as they are during the summer months.


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