Vanity Project

I tried to avoid the obvious locations when I last visited Rome; what would I gain from seeing the Coliseum once more, or ambling through the Forum and Imperial ruins for the third time in my life? There were two particular exceptions to this; the Musei Vaticani was one, for how could a few hours … Continue reading Vanity Project

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Revisiting the Past

The last morning in Rome of my honeymoon was spent in Santa Maria Maggiore (due to its proximity to our hotel) and then, to kill time until we had to leave, people watching from the steps outside. The memory is one that has long outlasted the marriage, but coincidentally I spent my last morning in … Continue reading Revisiting the Past

Levels of Recognition

Perhaps the young amphibian martial artists of New York's sewers are to blame, but when it comes to the artists of the Italian Renaissance and beyond, some getter a better deal than others in the public eye.  Perhaps Caravaggio was just a syllable too many to be a catchy name for a super hero, but … Continue reading Levels of Recognition

Needles and Pins

I can't recall whether it was on University Challenge or some less august programme, but I recently heard the following question asked: Where in the world will you find the most Egyptian obelisks outside of Egypt? The answer came to me immediately (and not entirely because I've been playing Assassin's Creed Origins of late), but because I've … Continue reading Needles and Pins

Perhaps you’re looking in the wrong place? (Musei Vaticani Pt II)

In my last post I hinted that the Sistine Chapel is the pot of gold at the rainbow's end for many of the Vatican Museums visitors, much as the Mona Lisa is in the Louvre, or the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. It is spectacular in composition, colour and scope, and I'd happily bypass … Continue reading Perhaps you’re looking in the wrong place? (Musei Vaticani Pt II)

Can’t see the wood for the trees? (Musei Vaticani Pt I)

In 1969 the BBC broadcast a six part series called Civilisation which celebrated the development of western art and culture. Though originally envisaged purely as a means to demonstrate the capabilities of newly introduced colour TV, the series had a major impact for many. I was only 10 years old at the time, but still … Continue reading Can’t see the wood for the trees? (Musei Vaticani Pt I)

Blots on the Landscape?

In my Italian travels I have encountered the exquisite work of many great architects; some of whom have featured here, whilst others preceded my camera and keyboard. Andrea Pisano, Fillipo Brunelleschi, Giovanni Pisano, Jacopo Sansovino, Borromino, Bernini, Michelangelo, Michelozzo... I could easily go on for I am only scratching the surface of Italian masters, many … Continue reading Blots on the Landscape?