I am on a family trip to trip in Italy right now, and this morning we toured the Vatican City. I am not a religious person but anyone who reads my blog knows I am fascinated by religion.
I thought I would share a few highlights and interstitial facts I learned
1. Michelangelo, the famous Renaissance artist was a pretty ballsy guy. In painting the Sistine Chapel, he painted the face the most powerful Cardinal onto the body of a man burning in Hell, damned to have a serpent gorge on his penis for eternity Why? Because the Cardinal was critical of how Michelangelo was drawing religious figures like Jesus and Mary, saying he was making them too muscular and realistic.
2. Raphael was worse. Michelangelos contemporary, Raphael, was originally asked by the Pope to paint the Cistine Chapel. Raphael was the most famous artist in the world at that time, but he was too busy to take on the project. But he knew it was a huge deal. So, he recommended Michelangelo, a 20 year old sculptor who had never painted. Why? Because he thought Michaelangelo would screw it up. Quite the opposite, Michelangelo not only created a masterpiece, he transformed Renaissance art and became an inspiration for Raphel’s later work
3. I saw the Pope. It turns out the Pope was having a special mass this morning. We got to see it and, because of we stood, we were about 10 feet from the Pope as he made his entrance.
So… Pretty touristy thing to do, but we loved it. If you ever do it, I would really recommend the Pristine Cistine tour. It leaves at 730 am but you have the place basically to yourself. By 930 the Vatican is a zoo, but our first couple hours were amazing