Noteworthy museums

Noteworthy museums

The Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis Augustae) – a camouflaged monument of private glory

Noteworthy museums

Stadium of Domitian – Greek-style competition, to the joy of the populace

Raphael (1483–1520) – the prematurely deceased genius of the Renaissance

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Raphael (1483–1520) – the prematurely deceased genius of the Renaissance

He was adored by the rich and influential, while on the day of his death, he was mourned not only by Pope Leo X but also the whole artistic community. He was seen as a pleasant, gentle, kind, and sociable person, who on top of that was righteous and noble. As his biographer, Giorgio Vasari claimed, "Raphael passionately loved women and was always ready for their services. This was why he was constantly seeking bodily pleasures." These kept him away from his work and perhaps as the concerned Vasari suggested, were also the cause of his death.

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The Transfiguration – the most divine of all Raphael’s works

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The Transfiguration – the most divine of all Raphael’s works

He was viewed as a painting genius, while his painting as exceptional. His figures were beautiful, both in the physical as well as the spiritual dimension, compositions were clear, the color scheme perfect. However, Raphael's last work cannot be characterized in this way. The artist has no desire to emanate with harmony, just the opposite – he puts us in front of distinct emotions, faces twisted in a grimace, dramatic gestures, and shouts, which seem to come to the viewer from inside the painting.

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Bernini’s Habakkuk and the Angel, meaning the story of a mysterious journey into the lion’s den

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Bernini’s Habakkuk and the Angel, meaning the story of a mysterious journey into the lion’s den

We enter the chapel and immediately our eyes are drawn to a group of figures, which seems to blast open the niche in which it finds itself – an older man in a dynamic pose, who is held by an angel by his lock of hair. The lively gestures of their hands indicate that there is a conflict brewing. The angel seems to be ordering the man to do something, which he questions, pointing in a different direction. When we follow the angel’s finger, we begin to understand what he means. He is pointing to a figure of another man found in the opposite niche – but what is it that truly conn...

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