Saturday, May 10, 2008

The past days have gone by so quickly and have been full of adventures! I saw the Vatican. Words can't even describe how I felt in there. It was so much different than I ever expected it would be. Before going in, we were told of how Michaelangelo only painted a few things, (I think 4) yet the paintings of the Sistine chapel are phenomenal. In 7th grade, Mr. Papciak had a class project where we taped a piece of paper under our desk. We layed on the ground for a while and drew a picture while under our desks. For part of it he had us draw for 3 minutes straight without taking our hands down. I remember how tired my arms were. I kept thinking about that experience while I was in the Sistine chapel and tried to think of how Michaelangelo felt up on 50 ft scaffolding, painting while on his back, with paint dripping into his face. I don't think I could ever have the patience (let alone skill) to create such a masterpiece.

Rachelle pointed this out, and I thought it was a great thought. At the front of the chapel, under the famous ceiling and below the Last Judgement painting , a cross with Christ on it is displayed. It is dwarfed by the majestic paintings yet really stood out to me. Rachelle shared how it reminded her of how all the weight of the world is on Christ's shoulders, yet he remains firm. I wonder if it was planned to appear that way, with the history of the world above, all appearing to rest on Christ and his atonement. It really moved me. I enjoyed being in the room and thinking about my own beliefs of gratefulness for the gospel.

Later that day we went to the Borghese gallery. We had to reserve our own tickets, as it wasn't part of the planned study abroad part. The gallery was a private collection of Borghese, the brother in law to Napoleon Bonaparte. Bernini, a great sculptor, was his hired artist and several of his works were displayed in the gallery. I was taken away by the stories of the sculptures and the sculptures themselves. One in particular was "Pluto and Porsephina" It shows Pluto abducting Porsephina. What amazed me was the intricate detail of the work. The depiction of his hand grabbing her leg was unbelievale. His fingers were indented into her leg, making the marble appear to be fleshy. It was incredible. I just stared at it for a few minutes. I really wish I had my camera, but we couldn't take anything in with us. Becuase it is a private gallery, tickets must be reserved. They let each group in for 2 hours and then get everyone out before letting the others in. It has been my favorite museum, by far.

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