The Vatican Museums
After the Sistine Chapel, there were halls and rooms and loggia filled with works of art and sculptures. There was The School of Athens by Raphael! (And, I bought another magnet depicting this masterpiece, too! But, photos were also allowed in this part of the museums.) I have so wanted to see this painting since my very last semester of undergrad (when I had to take an art class in order to graduate and Art History fit into my schedule and changed forever how I view the world and started me on this odyssey of discovery of the planet – the rest, they say, is history…) It is a fresco decorating the private library of the pope, the Stanza della Segnatura, in the Vatican Palace and it depicts Neoplatonist thought, a popular paradigm during the Renaissance. Plato and Aristotle take center stage. They are discussing the source of all wisdom, or truth. Plato, Aristotle’s teacher, points to the sky, arguing that wisdom comes from above, from the Divine. Aristotle motions to the earth and indicates that wisdom occurs by empirical observation. There are other students and thinkers and philosophers surrounding them. I love this painting because I agree with both of them. Why not marry faith and science? Why not, I ask you? That’s what Galileo did and he was a pretty bright guy. Of course, he suffered – as many have and still do – for his beliefs… There’s also the beautiful Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by Peter Wenzel, a panoramic paradise. I was deeply affected by a painting of Thomas the Doubter, his second and third fingers touching Christ’s still-open chest wound (I was an emergency room nurse for quite a while, after all, and that is what it is). And the highly emotional Deposition of Christ, by Caravaggio. Ah, Caravaggio! Troubled and highly emotional himself… A tapestry room held an intricate Last Supper. There was a special exhibition on the Knights Templar which could have taken hours and a wall of beautiful modern madonnas…
I dream of the Vatican Museums, of more discoveries, of more knowledge. (To be continued…)
Roma, Adagio, Part 1 A last-minute trip to Italy and an intro to my convent in Rome!
Roma, Adagio, Part 2 Capella Sistina, otherwise known as the Sistine Chapel
Roma, Adagio, Part 4 The Spiral Staircase of the Vatican Museums
Roma, Adagio, Part 5 St. Peter’s Basilica