Monday, December 29, 2014

Vatican City: Museums

Today was the day we spent the afternoon in the Vatican Museums. It wasn't possible to spend as much time as we wanted seeing everything because of the sheer size of the museums; the tour groups were interminable, though, too, and made it difficult to navigate. It was a bit of a dilemma; the Museums being a sacred space, I didn't want to shove people out of the way, but if one wasn't assertive, one would in fact get stepped on, shoved out of the way, and ignored altogether.

Nevertheless, we saw some beautiful things. Our primary goal was to see was the Sistine Chapel, which one couldn't take pictures of. We made a second trip through the museums, though, after we'd visited the Sistine Chapel, focusing on those things in which we were more interested, namely the Chiaramonti Museum and Nuovo Gallery, the Octagonal Courtyard, and the Egyptian museum.

The art itself, on the walls and ceilings throughout, were beautiful, though; everywhere you looked there was something new to look at. This was one of the more impressive ceilings:

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

The Chiaramonti Museum and Nuovo Gallery was one Ed was interested in seeing; built by Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800-1823) for a collection of Roman busts and statues, the Museum was organized by neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova in 1807 and was inaugurated in 1822. There are about a thousand sculptures, including portraits of emperors and gods.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

Some were originals, and some are replicas, such as this torso of a statue of Artemis. It's a mid-first century AD copy of a Greek original from the first half of the second century BC, known from other, larger replicas. Even the replicas are ancient.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

We also passed through the Octagonal Courtyard, named after its shape by Clement XIV in 1772, and wandered through the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum), which was founded by Gregory XVI (1831-1846) in the Lateran Palace in 1884; John XXIII had it relocated in the Vatican in 1970. It contains Greek original works, Roman copies and sculptures dating from the 1st to the 3rd c. A.D.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

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