The Gregorian Egyptian Museum was founded in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI and consists of nine rooms that once housed Pope Pius IV’s private apartments in the Belvedere Palace. During the Imperial Age, Romans were crazy for everything Egyptian, and it became fashionable to import Egyptian works to Rome to decorate residences, shrines, temples, etc.… Continue reading A Short Tour Through the Vatican’s Gregorian Egyptian Museum
The Octagonal Court was once known as the Cortile delle Statue because it was here that Pope Julius II displayed his collection of antique sculpture. Major works here include The River God (Arno), which dates from the age of Hadrian. It is thought to be a personalization of the River Arno because the sculpture has… Continue reading Honeymooning In Rome: The Vatican’s Most Romantic Courtyard.
The Gregorian Etruscan Museum was the first museum dedicated solely to artifacts found in ancient Etruria (modern-day Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria). Etruscan cities were prosperous, independent city-states that were linked by culture, religion, and language. Because of their prosperity, trade flourished in this area, leaving many artifacts for archeologists to find and study. Etruria remained… Continue reading Mythical Ceramics: The Gregorian Etruscan Museum
One of the most fascinating museums housed in the Vatican is the New Pinacoteca. The “new” Vatican Pinacoteca actually dates to 1932 (although in comparison with the works held, this could be accurately dubbed “new”). Most of the paintings held in this collection picture Christian themes, stories, images, and sometimes all of the above. Therefore,… Continue reading The Vatican’s Picture Gallery
The papal apartments that are now known as “Raphael’s Rooms” were commissioned by Pope Julius II upon his election to the papal throne. Rather than live in the rooms of his predecessor, Pope Alexander VI Borgia, whom Julius detested, Pope Julius collected a team of artists, including Raphael, to redecorate previously unused chambers. Raphael was… Continue reading Raphael’s Rooms
In addition to the sculptures located in the Octagonal Court, the Vatican Museums are home to hundreds of other fascinating statues. I’m just going to highlight my favorite ones here, organized by museum and room. The Pio Clementino Museum The original papal sculptures were housed in the then Cortile delle Statue (now known as the… Continue reading The Vatican Statues
The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is likely the most well-known of the artworks housed by the Vatican Museums. The chapel itself was named after Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere (whose name should be familiar from the painting Sixtus IV appoints Bartolomeo Platina Prefect of the Vatican Library mentioned in “The Vatican’s Picture Gallery“). Sixtus restored the… Continue reading A Brief Look at the Sistine Chapel