Monday, April 10, 2006

Roma pics: Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel

The second time we went to the Vatican, we made sure we went there early (like 8.00am) to take our place in the line. But lo and behold, there was no line. I mean yes, once we got in, it was a bit crowded with visitors, but there really wasn't a visible queue to enter. Funny how a free entry can create such chaos the day before.

The Vatican museum had a special Egyptian Artifacts Exhibition goping on, but hey we're in Italy, not in Cairo. So we decided to hit the musuem proper first and see if we have time to do the Pharoahs later.

As I've been here before during my last trip to Italy way back in 2001, I wasn't as awestruck as Chris and Terry. Still, the frescoes and tapestries are very beautiful and interesting to learn about. Each and every exhibit is accompanied by a commentary detailing its identity and a little of its history - in six languages! (Italian, English, French, Japanese, Spanish and German) I'm impressed.

Perhaps the most famous artwork here can be found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This is the painting which has God and Adam trying to touch each other with their index fingers. It was done by Michaelangelo between 1508 and 1512. THe room which houses the paiting is kept dim and visitors are not allowed to take any pictures of the ceiling art - flash or no flash. And that includeds camera phones. They really meant business because while we were there, quite a few 'rebels' who tried to secretly take a snapshot were chastised rather loudly by the guards. They really don't give face one!

There was also a wing housing modern art and there were quite a few really inspiring works of art like these you see here. This is a neo-classical stained glass of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus. It's hauntingly beautiful in its simplicity, don't you think?

This is a very very large cross which commanded the attention of everyone who entered the room.
Well, this is the Vatican. Hmmm.... this'll look great in my living room, don'tcha think? Hehehehe

This is my favourite. It's a canvas art piece of two persons embracing. It evokes emotions of love, loyalty and desperation all at the same time. I think I stared at it for at least fifteen minutes.

And this is my favourite shot of the museum. Incidentally, the spiral stairs lead to the toilets. These italians really damm gaya!

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