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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stefano Maderno’s Lying St. Cecilia – a miracle or an elaborate mystification?

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

Raphael’s Fire in the Borgo – a hymn on the subject of more than just antiquity

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

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

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

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

Must-see paintings and sculptures

Daniele da Volterra’s The Descent from the Cross – a faded shadow of a great work, meaning the aftermath of vandalism

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

Saint Jerome (between 331 and 347 – 420) – „Romans hide your daughters because Jerome is coming”

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Saint Jerome (between 331 and 347 – 420) – „Romans hide your daughters because Jerome is coming”

We are familiar with this interpreter of the Bible mainly from images showing his old, rachitic body. However, behind the official façade of a hermit and erudite hides a man prone to conflicts and uncompromising, whose figure is willingly (today) recalled by those who, on one hand, want to show his misogyny, and on the other those who would like to prove that his attitude is the best evidence of valuing women in the late-antiquity Church. And where was the actual truth?

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Polet Chapel – a monument to the counter-reformation virtues of a French wine merchant

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Polet Chapel – a monument to the counter-reformation virtues of a French wine merchant

The Roman career of  Domenichino was hanging by a thread. First the death of Pope Clement VIII, whose nepot (Pietro Aldobrandini) was the artist’s patron, and then the death of his master Annibale Carracci (1609) meant that commissions no longer came. And only on the eve of his departure for Bologna, the painter obtained a very prestigious commission, namely the painting of The Last Communion of St Jerome, to be quickly followed by a series of frescoes concerning the life of St. Cecilia. These frescoes were ordered by a wealthy merchant as an element of the decoration of the Roman F...

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

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

When in 1614 this painting was hung at the main altar of the Church of San Girolamo della Carità at via Monserrato, it aroused such a great admiration, that the inhabitants of Rome went on veritable pilgrimages to visit it, praising its religious depth, power of expression, and realism. The work as well as its creator – Domenichino, were the talk of the entire artistic world. Only one man looked upon them with skepticism and jealousy. This was, the well-known in the city on the Tiber painter Lanfranco. A few years later he accused Domenichino of plagiarism, desiring to cover him i...

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