Must-see paintings and sculptures

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

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

Bronzino’s Madonna with Child, St. John the Baptist and St. Anne – meaning a song of love sentenced to suffering

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

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Domenichino’s The Last Communion of St. Jerome – a work about the superiority of communion under one kind

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

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

Bronzino’s Portrait of Stefano Colonna – a picture-perfect condottiero

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

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

Carlo Saraceni’s St. Cecilia with an Angel - two musicians

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Caravaggio’s Saint Jerome – the Doctor of the Church as a weapon in the struggle against heretics

Must-see paintings and sculptures

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Giovanni Lanfranco’s Venus Playing the Harp – a tribute to music or perhaps to love?

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Bronzino’s Venus, Cupid, and Satyr – a sublime allegory or a courtly jest?

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

Piazza Augusto Imperatore – in the service of historical policy

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Piazza Augusto Imperatore – in the service of historical policy

The ruler of Fascist Italy, Benito Mussolini looked at himself as the heir of Roman emperors, but only one was his favorite. This was Octavius Augustus, who was remembered in history as an example of an excellent leader who ensured his subjects peace and prosperity. And thus the grand exhibition, planned for 1938 was devoted to this ruler as a commemoration of his birthday. Many guests were invited (including Hitler, who was also a proponent of Octavius), while the opening of a square (a new Roman forum), surrounded by new, monumental buildings served as an added attraction. At the center of t...

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Giovanni Lanfranco’s Venus Playing the Harp – a tribute to music or perhaps to love?

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Giovanni Lanfranco’s Venus Playing the Harp – a tribute to music or perhaps to love?

Who is the semi-nude woman on the canvas? Is it the allegory of music, or perhaps Venus – the goddess of love, with accompanying, reading the score, amoretti? The scarlet and blue fabrics made of satin covering the woman, and hanging behind her back, seduce the viewer with the soft, wavy, and shiny material. Among these is the woman’s beautiful body, with an enormous harp between her legs. The woman is singing, as her mouth is open, and looks at us in a stubborn manner. Intuitively we feel that this work hides some mystery, an anecdote, or maybe just an intriguing ambiguity. And we...

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Saint Eustochium (368–419) – a virgin through and through

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Saint Eustochium (368–419) – a virgin through and through

The history of the Roman Catholic Church is filled with imaginary virgins of legendary provenances, such as Agnes and Cecilia who are particularly venerated in Rome. Probably nobody (apart from a few early-Christian Church historians) has ever heard of Saint Eustochium. It would be worth pondering why the first in Rome, declared virgin and historically documented ascetic remains completely unknown.

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