Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Vatican

The minute we got off the metro station we were hassled by tour operators who kept trying to convince us that the only way to avoid long queues in the Vatican was to buy their tour. We did not buy a tour, and did not encounter any queues either - we just sailed through everything.

The colonnade by Bernini in the Piazza San Pietro is very imposing and even just seeing that would make the visit worthwhile

and another view of the impressive colonnade

the Basilica di San Pietro

and a look at the interior

Our next stop was the Vatican Museum, and as we went up the escalators (on the right of the picture), we could see the curving staircase twisting up to the top of the building

on our way up we saw this courtyard through one of the windows and were intrigued by it: we decided we would have a drink at the cafe there at the end of our tour, but by then we could not find it and  were so tired after the endless stairs we did not want to look too hard for it, so we had tea on the edge of the gardens

but here is a closer look at the intriguing globe.

The Vatican Museums are so vast and so complex that we decided we would limit ourselves to the Raphael rooms, the Sistine Chapel and the contemporary art collection as this was our last day and we had the journey home ahead of us. To get to our chosen exhibits, we had to walk through miles of grand rooms, and this is one of them - the photograph cannot do justice to the grandeur of that ceiling.

This is part of the ceiling of the Stanza di Constantino, which shows scenes from the life of the Emperor Constantin, who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Even though this is one of the Raphael rooms, it was not done by Raphael at all, but was painted partly to his designs by three of his students five years after his death.

Detail from the ceiling of Stanza di Eliodoro, the first proper Raphael room

and the Stanza della Segnatura, another Raphael room

The Thinker, Rodin. A study before he attempted the large one?

Pieta, Georg Meistermann, 1965, stained glass

Rose de Metz, Roger Bissiere, 1960

The Matisse Room:

Large scale preparatory collages by the artist relating to the stained glass windows and ceramic tiles which are adorning the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence on the Cote d'Azur.

Vetrata della Navata, paper on card, 1949

Vetrata del Coro, 1949, paper on card,

La Vierge a l'Enfant, 1949

L'Arbre de Vie, 1949, paper on card

Le Crucifix (entre Dieu et le Diable),  Marc Chagall, 1943

Pieta Rouge, Marc Chagall, 1956

Crocifissc, Lucio Fontana, 1951

Paessagio Angelico, Salvador Dali, 1977

Paros with Moon, Ben Nicholson, 1966-67

Idea for Crucifixion Sculpture, Henry Moore, 1954

Study for Velazquez Pope II, Francis Bacon, 1961

Study for Crucifixion, Graham Sutherland, 1947

Colombe (L'Oiseau traversant le nuage) , Geroges Braque, 1957

Nature Morte, Le Corbusier, 1939

Yamagata, Kengiro Azuma, 1926

We then had tea in the garden next to Ascencione by Cecco Bonanotte, 1996

and then back inside, a final look at the glass dome

and then round and round all the way down.

1 comment:

  1. In nomine Patris et filii et Spiritus Sancti, I could do with a ceiling like some of these.