|Hall of Maps, the maps are painted|
on the walls, the ceiling is one long
series of beautiful framed paintings.
|Unusual stained glass Madonna and child, |
both gaze directly out from the portrait,
in the Vatican Museum
The Vatican owns vast property in Rome, and contributed to works of public art such as fountains, and the angel sculptures that line the bridges crossing the Tevere (Tiber) into the Vatican. Some buildings are literally priceless and irreplaceable like St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Pantheon. Not only do they contain irreplaceable artworks, the building interiors are covered with frescos, sculpted plaster and wood, and in some cases the walls are covered with handwoven tapestries or embroidered scenes on cloth. The Pantheon is a Roman building with a technically innovative roof design that has been in constant use as a temple or a church for over 2000 years.
|The ceiling in one of the Vatican hallways|
|Brilliant painting of an angel showing heavenly|
rewards to a virtuous and hard working man.
|Ann (with the blue jacket) and I |
in front of the Pantheon in Rome
|Inside the Pantheon, now a Catholic Basilica,|
but with many sculptures and crypts of famous
people like Rafael and the two kings of Italy.
|My friend Derek with Egyptian ruler,|
in the Vatican Museum
|Enormous basin carved from a single block|
of stone on a carved base, above mosaic floor
with Roman mythical characters. Vatican Museum
|Idyllic farm, one of many, owned by the church, |
sits on top of the amazing catacombs where
thousands of Christians
were buried in miles of passages.
Photos inside the catacombs were not permitted.
|Recent art acquisitions by the church,|
looks like it could be a Star Trek Borg Ship:
Arnaldo Pomodoro's Sphere Within a Sphere.
|The exit from the Vatican Museum, a work|
of art staircase, built in the 1930s.
|Photo of the inlaid floor of the Sistine Chapel, seconds|
before a guard told me NO PHOTOS.
|Roman noblewoman's portrait in|
a hall of several thousand busts and statues.
In the Uffizi Museum in Florence, there is a copy of this piece, complete with arms and hands. The original is in the Vatican. It's called Laocoön and His Sons and is one of the most important works of art that was found during excavations of the old Roman city. (For a detailed account of the interesting Greek story behind it, see: Wiki_Laocoon)
It was known to have existed thanks to the writings of Pliny the Elder so it was instantly recognized and brought to the Vatican around 1500AD. Not only did it have historical value, but it also deeply influenced the path of sculptors and artists far into the future with it's perfection of human beauty and idealism.
|Laocoon Group, Vatican Museum|