Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rome Days 2 and 3 so many days ago...

So I know that this is terrible of me, but I've been putting off the Rome posts for so long that we're just going to finish them off in a bit of a hurry so we can all get on with our lives. Sorry for the quality of this post compared to the one you would have gotten if I had sucked it up earlier and done it sooner. But since you'll never know the delight of that post that exists only in my head, deal with this one. So we woke up super early to Rome's regular charming self and walked all the way up one of Rome seven hills to see Bramante's Tempietto! It's one of my favorite pieces of clacissicizing architecture and I was not disappointed. It's just as lovely and balanced and tiny and darling as it looks.

The Tempietto was built by Spanish monarchs on the supposed spot that st. Peter was crucified. Thus he is supposedly buried in this chamber underneath.

Did I mention Rome was charming? Ricardo and I decided that if we were ever to live in Italy it would be near Rome. (based on this photograph alone, of course.)

That photo is on our way to a villa that would have originally been on the outskirts of Rome, but is now very much in the city. The first thing we ran into was Raphael's oh so lovely Galatea. It's a Fresco, Galatea is sexy and topless because that's what you want on your wall if you're a rich Renaissance guy!

and lots and lots of beautiful ceiling paintings and large airy rooms.

and some ancient graffiti from when Rome was sacked in the 1500's!

but we weren't really allowed to take photos so this is all we got. We got to rest a bit while EVERYONE went to the bathroom, but we were SO PUMPED for the Vatican which was next.

Ricardo was obviously way more into these pre-staged shots "for the blog!" Ricardo likes to plan our blog posts as we're living in the real world. It's pretty darling. Anyway we got to the Vatican and we stood in front of St. Peter's and took a picture! here it is.

The first thing we did in the Vatican was go into the Pinacoteca, which is the painting gallery.
This is the oldest painting in the Vatican's collection. It's got awesome sea monsters and business.

AND A GIOTTO! sing song sing song. It's a very early Giotto. So he isn't THE FATHER OF THE RENAISSANCE yet.

And Raphaels! This room had three of Raphael's most famous paintings stood up like they were on easels, just chillin. This is the Transfiguration, where god acknowledges Jesus as his son on earth.

And Veronese! I thought the fabric in this was so beautiful and rich. I really loved it.

Caravaggio! entombing Christ and all.

As we left the Pinacoteca we went in to a giant courtyard where there was this enormous niche in this beautiful building with this pine cone (which was about double my size) from Roman antiquity.

then we went into the building with the Sistine Chapel and on the way we saw...

The Lysippos! Lysippos was a Greek sculptor who used a canon of perfect proportions for this sculpture known as the Apoxymenos or the scraper because he's an athelete scraping off the oil they used to rub on themselves during competitions.

The Laocoon! Ricardo's wildest dreams have come true! (even the scary ones? YES.)

The Belvedere Torso! A fragment from antiquity that seriously inspired Michelangelo.

Pericles whose head is too big!

A fertility goddess!

A LLLLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG hallway full of painted maps!

and four hundred rooms painted on EVERY INCH!

Finally, The School of Athens by Raphael in la camera della Signatura, where the Pope sat to sign his documents and conducted serious business. hmmmmm. It depicts a bunch of super famous mathematicians, artists, philosophers etc. from antiquity to the Renaissance all hanging out talking and discussing. There are portraits of Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Raphael himself in there.

The other side is less famous, but just as awesome.

and FINALLY the Sistine Chapel! whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.

Ricardo is a mo'fo'ing genius so he got us some VERY ILLEGAL pictures. heh heh heh.

From there you go onto NEW ST. PETER'S which must always be written in all caps because it is SO BIG.

with a BIG BALDACHINO made of bronze by Bernini.


and... and... giantness.

and best of all Michelangelo's small and most beautiful Pieta. Not giant except in impact. It was more mesmerizing than I remembered, and Ricardo was so taken with it that he took triple the amount of photos that was needed.

The Swiss Guard uniforms are SO COOL. SO COOL.

St. Peter's looked so beautiful as the sun was leaving. Blue and orange is one of my favorite color combinations.

After the Vatican (as if you should ever do anything after you've been to the Vatican) we went to see some more Caravaggios! The crucifixion of St. Peter and the Conversion of St. Paul are together in this small chapel and and I got sneaky photos which I think are pretty good.

Then we dragged ourselves up the Spanish steps...nothin' to see there. Thanks Helen.

We stopped briefly at this very early Bernini fountain.


There are no words for the Ecstasy of St. Theresa.

On the third day we weren't actually in Rome. Our first stop was just outside Rome at the Borghese Villa which now houses their extensive collection, which includes many Caravaggios because Scipione Borghese was one of his greatest patrons and also a Cardinal, so he pretty much got whatever he wanted.

The Madonna of the Pilgrims

Judith and Holofernes

Scipione Borghese himself
by Bernini

The Denial of St. Peter

David and Goliath

Caravaggio painted Goliath in his own image because he felt that he was so sinful and awful. He wasn't completely wrong seeing as he murdered at least one person for sure and was a bit of a jerk.

This is a famous sculpture from antiquity known at the thorn puller. It tells the story of a young boy who ran for miles and miles to warn is people of an oncoming army (I forgot who was invading who) and he didn't stop to pull out the thorn in his foot until he had reached the town and sounded the alarm.

St. John the Baptist by Bronzino

The Deposition by Raphael

The Rape of the Sabine Women by Bernini

Apollo and Daphne by Bernini

La Canova

This is a portrait of Napoleon's sister who married into the Borghese family, as Venus. She was very...friendly shall we say, and the Borgheses were a bit embarrassed that she would put her...forwardness out there so publicly. SO they hid it in the basement while she was alive!

Bernini's David

A testament to badassery.

We also went to the Gardens at Tivoli and Hadrian's Villa but they're coming in a post of their own.

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