A Day in Vatican City in Pictures

Ok. Be warned: I am not a photographer or an art critic, but here are some pictures of some things that stood out to me from my day in Vatican City. I only went to the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel. I made it there, but you are not allowed to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel. So, here's what I got for ya.

Just outside Vatican City. I liked the rays of light coming from behind the building on the left.

Just outside Vatican City. I liked the rays of light coming from behind the building on the left.

slightly different angle. I love catching the sunset behind buildings.

slightly different angle. I love catching the sunset behind buildings.

One half of St. Peter's Square, which is technically adjacent to Vatican City, but not "inside". This is where the Pope comes out to preach and stuff though.

One half of St. Peter's Square, which is technically adjacent to Vatican City, but not "inside". This is where the Pope comes out to preach and stuff though.

The other half of St. Peter's square. On top, you can't see from this view, are statues of popes, saints, gods and goddesses, and caesars. As I actually went through Vatican city, that mix of mythology, politics, and religion, kept puzzling me. I still haven't fully processed it.

The other half of St. Peter's square. On top, you can't see from this view, are statues of popes, saints, gods and goddesses, and caesars. As I actually went through Vatican city, that mix of mythology, politics, and religion, kept puzzling me. I still haven't fully processed it.

Not sure what this is, but also on the other side of St. Peter's square.

Not sure what this is, but also on the other side of St. Peter's square.

Just outside St. Peter's square. I just liked this building.

Just outside St. Peter's square. I just liked this building.

Just as you enter Vatican City, Laocoon (from the Trojan War story) greets you.

Just as you enter Vatican City, Laocoon (from the Trojan War story) greets you.

Then Caesar Augustus (I think) shows points you toward the metal detectors.

Then Caesar Augustus (I think) shows points you toward the metal detectors.

Entombment of Christ by Carvaggio depicts Joseph of Arimethea, taking Jesus' body for burial. Our tour guide told us that these images were too graphic for the church back in the day, and that many artists ended up getting condemned for painting so vividly. Also, notice how ripped Jesus is: like a Greek god. Our tour guide also pointed that out, but I find it really interesting. It definitely varies from the biblical description: He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him (Isaiah 53:2). Do you think there may be any historic connection between depictions of Jesus like this, and modern depictions of Jesus as a beautiful European model? Just food for thought. 

Entombment of Christ by Carvaggio depicts Joseph of Arimethea, taking Jesus' body for burial. Our tour guide told us that these images were too graphic for the church back in the day, and that many artists ended up getting condemned for painting so vividly. Also, notice how ripped Jesus is: like a Greek god. Our tour guide also pointed that out, but I find it really interesting. It definitely varies from the biblical description: He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him (Isaiah 53:2). Do you think there may be any historic connection between depictions of Jesus like this, and modern depictions of Jesus as a beautiful European model? Just food for thought. 

The Denial of Peter (Pensionante De Saraceni). I only took pictures of things in the Vatican that moved, puzzled, or intrigued me. This painting was one of them. Something about how dark Peter's face is. In the story, he is trying to hide, isn't he? I can't explain it, but something about this really struck me. 

The Denial of Peter (Pensionante De Saraceni). I only took pictures of things in the Vatican that moved, puzzled, or intrigued me. This painting was one of them. Something about how dark Peter's face is. In the story, he is trying to hide, isn't he? I can't explain it, but something about this really struck me. 

The Crucifixion of Peter (Guido Reni). This was also considered really graphic. What stands out to me is that guy's hat at the foot of the cross. I doubt any first Palestinians has access to that style of hat. To me, it speaks of how we all tend to imagine the biblical stories as happening in the garb of our time and culture. So, we too often think as though Jesus were a 21st century American, rather than a 1st century Palestinian Jew. It's great to think of how these stories speak to our times, but it can also be dangerous to never truly enter the world to which those words were originally addressed. On the other hand, there is something good--I think--in imagining ourselves in the text as well. Balance I guess.

The Crucifixion of Peter (Guido Reni). This was also considered really graphic. What stands out to me is that guy's hat at the foot of the cross. I doubt any first Palestinians has access to that style of hat. To me, it speaks of how we all tend to imagine the biblical stories as happening in the garb of our time and culture. So, we too often think as though Jesus were a 21st century American, rather than a 1st century Palestinian Jew. It's great to think of how these stories speak to our times, but it can also be dangerous to never truly enter the world to which those words were originally addressed. On the other hand, there is something good--I think--in imagining ourselves in the text as well. Balance I guess.

This is a plant. A happy plant. Bob Ross taught me this.

This is a plant. A happy plant. Bob Ross taught me this.

A panoramic view of this courtyard on the way to the Sistine Chapel (this is where the happy plant in the last picture lives...with other happy plants).

A panoramic view of this courtyard on the way to the Sistine Chapel (this is where the happy plant in the last picture lives...with other happy plants).

A view of the city of Rome from Vatican City. I think those may be the seven legendary hills in the distance. 

A view of the city of Rome from Vatican City. I think those may be the seven legendary hills in the distance. 

I knew ancient Rome and ancient Egypt had a relationship because of the expanse of the Roman Empire, but seeing the remnant of that relationship in the city (and in Vatican City) is really interesting. There are obelisks around Rome, and sphinxes in the vatican, as well as statues like these.

I knew ancient Rome and ancient Egypt had a relationship because of the expanse of the Roman Empire, but seeing the remnant of that relationship in the city (and in Vatican City) is really interesting. There are obelisks around Rome, and sphinxes in the vatican, as well as statues like these.

This was a drive-by of sorts. That blue texture is lapis lazuli. I was just kind of amazed to see it in person.

This was a drive-by of sorts. That blue texture is lapis lazuli. I was just kind of amazed to see it in person.

Bye bye, now. Leave me some comments if you want. :)