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

Caravaggio’s St. John the Baptist – a work of art, sacrilege, or child pornography?

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Caravaggio’s St. John the Baptist – a work of art, sacrilege, or child pornography?

Looking upon this painting do we not feel like intruders spying on a rather bizarre scene? It depicts a nude youth in a reclining pose, who stretches out on fur and white and red fabric, trying to encircle the head of a horned ram immediately behind him, which in turn – as it seems – will in a moment tenderly touch the boy's face with its mouth. The boy, seemingly surprised, turns his head towards us. In his gaze, we can see curiosity but also a frivolous, slightly teasing smile. For someone who is not familiar with the title of this work, the last thing that may come to his mind i...

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Julius III (1487–1555) – a dream about the power of ...a family

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Julius III (1487–1555) – a dream about the power of ...a family

He was not a significant bishop in Rome, and although we cannot accuse him of a lack of ambitions, these did not concern matters of the Church. He was one of the last popes of the Renaissance – fond of the pleasures of everyday life, the culture of antiquity, basing his rule on nepotism, and a man who valued art although for him it was above all a way to elevate his family (average at best) to the very top of the Roman black aristocracy – as quickly as possible and at any price.

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Del Monte Chapel – a stylistically balanced and artistically reserved place

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Del Monte Chapel – a stylistically balanced and artistically reserved place

In the pseudotransept of the Church of San Pietro in Montorio, we can come across a chapel which is definitely pleasant to look upon. The harmonious proportions, distinction, and moderation that can be seen there are a testimony of the skill of its creators. Truly, the del Monte Chapel is one of the most beautiful creations of the late Renaissance in the Eternal City, perhaps exactly due to the fact that it was created by the skilled Tuscans who desired to introduce a touch of Florentine elegance into its interior. And apparently, they succeeded.

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