The Vatican Museum

A photo in marble


The Vatican museum is an amazing place. Art, sculpture, sarcophagi, even a mummy. The first room we went to was mostly busts, with some statues.  The guy below wasn’t anyone special, and the sculptor is unknown as well. The Romans didn’t have cameras, obviously, so they did portraits in marble. You usually think of a bust as an idealized representation. These guys were depicted warts and all. It’s what they really looked like.








Most of the full-body statues were men, and most of them had their genitals either covered by fig leaves after the fact, or just – um – removed. The popes did that. They weren’t down with the Romans’ ideas about artistic license.

One statue, fig leaf included, priceless












There were a couple of emperors depicted. Here we have The Man, Julius Caesar himself, and Emperor Claudius on the right.

Beware the Ides of March

I, Claudius












There were also quite a few Egyptian artifacts. Apparently the early Romans were tomb raiders.


Yep, that’s a real mummy









And the art was incredible. In a lot of the churches and museums with art, we weren’t allowed to take flash pictures, and we weren’t allowed to do that in the Sistine Chapel. But this work gives you an idea of the brightness of the colors of the Sistine Chapel. Every surface in every museum and church was covered with either marble or paintings. Even the ceilings. We spent half a day there, but two days would be necessary to cover the whole thing.

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