Must-see paintings and sculptures

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Apollo Belvedere – the greatest work of art from among all the works of antiquity

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Benrnini’s Apollo and Daphne – a rock animated by love

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Raphael’s Woman with a Unicorn - an image of a virgin marked by virtue

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Bernini’s David – a sculpture testifying to the power of faith and humility

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath – a victor filled with sorrow

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Bernini’s The Ecstasy of St. Teresa – an anthem on the subject of bodily union with God

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Gaul Killing Himself and his Wife – meaning, praise of an honorable suicidal death

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Laocoön Group – the dramatic story of one arm and its lack

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Pietro da Cortona’s The Story of Aeneas – meaning where the pope searched for his roots

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Bronzino’s John the Baptist – between cold eroticism and refined devotion

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s Judith and Holofernes – a refined mixture of violence and desire

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Raphael’s Fornarina – a mysterious love interest or perhaps…

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Antoniazzo Romano’s Legend of the True Cross – miraculousness told in a Renaissance way

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Domenichino’s The Hunt of Diana – a painting about spying and its unfortunate results

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Jacopo Sansovino’s Madonna del Parto – between a saint and a maid

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Madonna delle mani – an indecent work, damaged and found anew

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s Madonna of Loreto - the sanctity of dirty, coarse feet

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Andrea Sansovino’s Madonna and Child with St. Anne – a work praised by poets

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Giovanni Lanfranco’s Apparition of the Virgin to St. Lawrence – a thematic painting yet not bereft of artistry

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s Madonna and Child with St. Anne – a work despite and against itself

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s The Martyrdom of St. Matthew – death among onlookers and terrified passersby

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s The Crucifixion of St. Peter – a painting on the banality of evil

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Michelangelo’s Moses – the remains of a tragic work

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Mosaics in the Church of Santa Pudenziana – how the Good Shepherd became a lawgiver

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Melozzo da Forlì’s Musical angels – Christ among songs, music and dance

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s Conversion of St. Paul – meaning how Saul became Paul

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Pasquino – snide, mean and still today irreplaceable

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Antonio Canova’s Pauline Borghese as the Venus Victrix – remember me like this for ages

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Michelangelo’s Pietà – an astonishing story of silent suffering

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Guercino’s The Funeral of St. Petronilla – a difficult topic, masterfully solved

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Funerary monument of Maria Clementina Sobieska – the joyful smile of a miserable queen

Must-see paintings and sculptures

The funerary monument of Pope Alexander VII, meaning the triumph of virtue over death

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Antonio Canova’s funerary monument of Pope Clement XIII – death appeased with beauty

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Antonio Canova’s funerary monument of Pope Clement XIV – a quiet grief of final parting

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Funerary Monument of Pope Leo XI – a modest and politically convincing work

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X – a real, perceptive and effective portrait

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Portrait of Pope Clement IX – a subtle image of a delicate pontifex

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s The Rape of Proserpina, meaning sanctioned rape

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Pietro da Cortona’s Rape of the Sabine Women – all is well that ends well

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius – a symbol of imperial harmony and peace

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Ludovica Albertoni – a masterpiece in the shadow of a moral scandal

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Bernini’s Statue of St. Bibiana – meaning how to present a virgin in the moment of bliss

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s The Calling of St. Matthew – how a sinner becomes the chosen of God

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Michelangelo’s Vault of the Sistine Chapel – a masterpiece born out of doubt and suffering

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Raphael’s Stanzas – meaning how the popes had wanted to live

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Melozzo da Forlì’s Sixtus IV Appointing Platina as Prefect of the Vatican Library – pope as an earthly ruler and a patron of science

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Raphael’s’ The School of Athens– a fancy riddle or an alternative history

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Raphael’s Triumph of Galatea – beauty and the beast in a Renaissance version

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Pietro da Cortona’s Triumph of Divine Providence – family apotheosis, meaning painting to the point of breathlessness

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Guido Reni’s Crucifixion of St. Peter – meaning a reason for a duel

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Dying Gaul – a funeral rhapsody in memory of the Gauls

Must-see paintings and sculptures

The Deliverance of St. Peter– between reality and a vision

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s The Entombment of Christ – a perfect work

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Raphael’s The Deposition – a painting of suffering, the fragility of life and an unforgettable loss

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Antoniazzo Romano’s Annunciation – meaning, how the Virgin Mary can miss the most important moment of her life

Bronzino’s John the Baptist – between cold eroticism and refined devotion

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Bronzino’s John the Baptist – between cold eroticism and refined devotion

The muscular, beautiful, manly body with a delicately glowing skin seems to be taken out of a refined act of, as we would have said today, homoerotic nature, however, the title of the painting and the requisites visible on it, point to something completely different. This is a saint, and not just any saint – the patron of Florence, John the Baptist. But is it possible that this is simply a religious painting?

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Bernini’s Colonnade – to strengthen faith, Enlightenment and to convince the infidels

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Bernini’s Colonnade – to strengthen faith, Enlightenment and to convince the infidels

Its grandeur is best appreciated, looking on from the perspective of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. In front of our very eyes stretches one of the last monumental works of the Baroque – a symbol of the significance of the Holy See and its representative on Earth - Pope Alexander VII. It was he, who ordered his trusted architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini to begin work on shaping the square in such a way so that it would astound and arouse respect. Both the pontifex and his architect succeeded in this task.

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Bronzino (1503–1572) – subtle, refined, and mysterious

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Bronzino (1503–1572) – subtle, refined, and mysterious

A painter, and at the same time a poet, he resided in Rome only a short time and in reality, we do not know what he did there. And despite the fact, that this chief representative of Mannerism and the court painter of the de ’Medici family did not leave the fruits of his labor in the city, the Roman museums keep several significant (obtained at a later date) works of his – surprising, seducing in their beauty and mysterious aura.

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