In and Above the Vatican


Out into the lovely courtyard carpeted with grass, tourists lunched, some tanning on benches to rest. Gifts of the different popes explained -the pineapple sculpture above lion-carved fountains was one pope’s gift to the Vatican –the fresh water of ancient aqueducts still quenching human thirst. Alcoves and archways, the pristine nature of it all was absorbed as Valeria described the paintings of the Sistine Chapel. For eleven years Michelangelo painted in this room. His first paintings, mind you, for he was a sculptor. Five years it took him to paint the ceiling. He painted angles, hid humor within the work that was sometimes too high for us to see to perceive. He painted God and Adam, judgments and rulers. In one place he painted himself -his signature for work, as artists in that day did not sign the canvas.

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