FACTOID: Caravaggio is celebrated for his innovative use of "chiaroscuro," a technique in which illuminated figures dramatically stand out against dark backgrounds.
National Gallery of Modern Art
One museum we had not been to was the National Gallery of Modern Art which is located on the other side of the Villa Broghese from where we live. It is mostly 18th and 19th Century Italian artists with a smattering of others such as Cezanne, Calder, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh and Jackson Pollack. It is much different than any of the other museums in Rome that display art. The building is quite impressive. The trains across from the museum were all part of the 150th anniversary celebration.
The artwork is not so impressive - at least the newer Italian artists shown. This piece took up an entire very large wall in one gallery.
Another of the museums that we had not been to was the Palazzo Corsini which is located in Trastevere - across the river. The palazzo was built in the early 16th
century and was the home of Christina Queen of Sweden in the middle of the 17th
century. The royal family desperately wanted a boy after two unsuccessful pregnancies resulted in girls. When Christina was coronated she took the oath as a King and not a Queen and was forever referred to as the `Girl King'. She was six years old when King Gustav died and she became Queen. There is some uncertainty as to her sex since she was described as looking, talking and acting very masculine and even wearing men's clothes. At some point in her life she secretly converted from Lutheran to Catholic and abdicated her throne and moved to Rome. In Rome, she made Pope Clement X
prohibit the custom of chasing Jews
through the streets during the carnival. In 1686, she issued a declaration that Roman Jews were under her protection, signed la Regina
- the queen even though she had abdicated her position by then.
Later, the Corsini family inherited the palazzo and began acquiring an enormous amount of paintings. The villa and gardens became the major property of Pope Clemente XII (Lorenzo Corsini). The entire collection has remained intact and over 300 paintings are on display. There is barely a spot on any wall not taken up with a painting. The Queen is on the first floor where the coaches and horses entered from the street.
The photo shows one of the upstairs halls of the villa.
Ghetto Art Gallery
This chair and rock were sitting outside an art gallery in the Jewish Ghetto. The translation is `worried'. Not sure why the title..not sure if this was art.
Inside the art gallery was this piece. It was fairly big and it must have taken some effort to balance it and make sure it did not tip over.
In the Saint Ivo all Sapienza church near Piazza Navonna there was an exhibit about Caravaggio. This was a guided tour that our Italian friends had set up for us. The tour was only given in Italian and to only a limited number of people each day. Sandra was supposed to translate for us but it was awkward and she could not do much. The two guides seem to want to talk faster than each other so the King and Queen understood nothing. The church was a very impressive structure with a huge courtyard.
The exhibit was in the library, which looked like a movie set with books along the walls and balconies to get to books that were higher up. The main exhibit was a painting of Pope Paul V that had not been on public display for over 100 years. Rivals of Caravaggio did most of the art in the exhibit. Some of these rivals would place the face of Caravaggio in their pictures but in a grotesque manner - such as the face of the devil.
Capitoline Museum and Picture Gallery
We have visited this museum at the Campidoglio a number of times but on this visit they a special exhibit on heads and hairdos. This exhibit tried to show how over the years the way a person was portrayed in the marble statues reflected their power. One section had different women with different hairdos.
Another women with snakes for hair.
The King and Queen have hairdos.
One part of the museum overlooks the Roman Forum.
There are many very large marble statues.
… and marble sarcophagi
Probably the most copied marble statue is the one that is titled `Death of the Gaul'. This version was discovered in the 17th century in the Gardens of Salusti which is close to where we live in Rome.
Scuderie del Quirinale
This museum on the Quirinale is a private museum and it has rotating exhibits. We have been to a number there and this year we went to the one they had on Lorenzo Lotto. Lotto was a contemporary of Michelangelo, Bramante and Raphael. He lived in the early 15th century.
Museum of the Roman Republic
On the top of the Janiculum hill overlooking to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy a new museum has opened. We biked up to the hill and you can see the bikes parked in front of the entrance to the museum.
We had missed to tour the week before because the museum closes at 2PM and we got there at 1:15PM just as the last 45-minute tour started. These 4 women were the only other patrons of the museum when we arrived.
Our tour guide was this young lady who spent a lot of time on the phone and chewing gum.
The views of Rome from this location are nice on a clear day.
This statue is for Anita Garibaldi, the wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi.