Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Vatican Museum

Journey on and we did. Having purchased tickets for the Vatican Museum online from the states, we gave ourselves away as the total tourists while standing at a map of the Vatican grounds trying to figure out just where we would go to pick them up. A young lady approached and asked if we wanted to participate in an English speaking tour beginning in 15 minutes. Rick and I quickly agreed. It was good money spent. Our tour guide was an American named Steve, from San Diego, living in Italy with a fine arts degree and of course, superb English. He knew just where to go to pick up our tickets and he did. YEAH!

What is not to like about the Vatican Museum except the sheer number of tourists. It was difficult to know whether to look up or down or just around, there is just so much to see. We were lucky because we actually went through the Museum twice. Our tour took us back in an early morning visit which was perfect for some of the photos I have captured here.(No tourist heads. LOL)

Upon entering, the first place you land is the Pigna Courtward, named for a colossal bronze pine cone, which is nearly 13 feet high.

Steps leading to the pine cone sculpture.

The detail of the pedestal supporting the pine cone.

Another spectacular sight is an enormous sphere in the center of the courtyard, sculpted by Arnoldo Pomodoro in 1990.  It rotates with just the slightest touch.

I love this peice, the detail in the hair is amazing. I don't really know how long ago it was done.

And then entering the Museum...
The statuary is exquisite, so rich in detail.

I learned that these statues had been painted way..... back in the day, but the paint had washed away. This is why the eyes do not have detail carved into them. It had been painted on.

The ceilings...
Much of this is fresco, which is a technique that paints directly on wet plaster. It is the reason this art has survived the years.

The ceiling in the Gallery of Maps which really does go on forever.

And finally, I share this really bad photo because the story that goes with is so funny.

This is supposedly Nero's bath tub. It really is huge and fills this large space.
The story goes that Nero had 6 wives. The first three were women, the next two were men and the last one was a horse. What... did he say?

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