Our days began by the fountain in the Piazza Santa Maria di Trastevere at 9:15am. We then walked over to the Campo de Fiori for class in the Rome Center. Cappuccini at a cafe right before class became our routine. We found out that cappuccini is plural for cappuccino. “Due cappuccini per favore.” (Two cappuccinos please.) or “Uno cappuccino per favore.”
After class on Friday, September 13th, we went to The Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. As with each museum we visited, we had to present on a piece of art. My piece for the Vatican Museum was “The Liberation of St. Peter.” Painted on a wall above a window in the Raphael Room, The Liberation of St. Peter shows Peter in chains and an angel saving him from prison while the guards sleep. Raphael has painted an amazing scene that includes beautiful areas of light and dark. The divine light of the angel glows above all other light even that of the dawn, the moonlight, and the reflections of the torches in the guard’s armor. Along with the light shining in from the window below it, the effect the painting has on the observer is startling. It is so big that it is impossible to capture the entire painting in just one camera shot. Its size, and place on the wall, along with the many people viewing it, adds to the difficulty of appreciating its majesty. The next time I go to the Vatican Museum I would like to just stand and stare at it, to sit in that moment in time when I can exist in a room called the Raphael Room and be in the presence of such spectacular art.
This picture from the internet cannot do justice to the painting. The pictures I took were fragmented so I thought I would post this picture so you can see the basic scene. When you go to the Raphael Room in the Vatican Museum you will now know what to look for. Try not to rush through. Try to live in this moment.
From the Vatican Museum to the Sistine Chapel. Now that is a place you want to just stand and stare. Prop yourself up against the wall or, like I did, some scaffolding. Look up. Watch as the pictures pop out at you. All those famous paintings of Michelangelo’s like this one:
are right there! Standing in a room that you have heard about many, many, times and knowing that it took Michelangelo a little over four years to paint these scenes on a ceiling, you are overwhelmed by the scale and talent. Then, as the scenes pop out at you, the room swallows you up. The things that bring you back to your body are the sound police shushing the crowd and the crick in your neck.
” How Big Is the Ceiling?
It’s about 40 meters (131 feet) long by 13 meters (43 feet) wide. These numbers are rounded off just a tad, but don’t detract from the fact that Michelangelo painted well over 5,000 square feet of frescoes” (Quoted from http://arthistory.about.com/od/famous_paintings/a/sischap_ceiling.htm).
St. Peter’s Basilica is large, opulent, full of art, full of marble, beautiful, amazing. I’ll talk more on St. Peter’s in my Sunday, Sept. 15th post.
After a full day of art and Catholic history we ate an authentic Italian meal with each other at Meg and Kathleen’s apartment. We were true Italians. All talking at the same time, laughter ringing through the windows, wine flowing like water, bread being consumed with olive oil, cheese…never enough cheese, homemade pasta, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, olives, tomatoes, basil… It was the best meal I had in Rome!