Vactican Museum and Sistine Chapel
So, this afternoon I finally made it over to the Vatican Museum and within it, the Sistine Chapel. The museum is full of all things Christian. And as you make your way through, it’s mostly what you would expect: centuries worth of pillaged ancient statues and vases and crosses galore. But eventually I noticed that there was more than that, a lot really. I found a Dalì, and even a Botero. It seems that anything can pass as long as it is vaguely spiritual.
As soon as you enter, you are following signs for the Sistine Chapel. And eventually, after following signs for “Cappella Sistina” for at least twenty minutes, I got butterflies in my stomach. Now I’m not sure I should be so easily admitting this, but it felt like I was picking a girl up for a first date. And then when I did finally enter, it was overwhelming.
You get inside, and look up, and it’s kind of nauseating. The Sistine Chappel has been casually described as “the pinnacle of artistic creation.” And especially since the recent restoration, the frescoes really shine. It’s amazing, and you really have to sit down. And you’re not supposed to take any pictures, so I was holding my jacket in front of my camera, and then the flash went off by accident, and so I was all freaked out in addition to being really over-awed. Not surprisingly, I really like Werner’s Herzog’s quote about it on wikipedia:
Many years ago I went to the Vatican and looked at Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that before Michelangelo no one had ever articulated and depicted human pathos as he did in those paintings. Since then all of us have understood ourselves just that little bit deeper, and for this reason I truly feel his achievements are as great as the invention of agriculture.
Strong words, from a strong man. Anyway, here you can see the rest of my pictures from today, along with witty descriptions as always. Finally, right before I left I overheard a tour guide telling his group about how a big bro-dude from Boston ruined the Last Judgment for him by suggesting that the negative space (the blue) was the inspiration for Darth Vader.