Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vatican Artifacts

The Gallery of Tapestries in the Vatican Museums includes the 'New School' series, executed from cartoons by pupils of Raphael or from drawings left by the artist at his death.

More sepia transformations here, applied to those few details I managed to carry away with me. This time the photo-color-distortions derived not from bad light (as in St. Peter's) but from low light, which of course was necessary and proper for textile preservation. My attitude toward tapestries has always been dismissive, and I am sorry about that now.

Right now if I could be back among the tapestries I would be overjoyed and would devote any amount of serious time to taking them in. Alas, there are always regrets. The plan should be that regrets over whatever was missed or slighted on a trip will motivate a quick return. After I got home I was appalled to realize I had not seen Bramante's Tempietto (which I did a whole post about here less than a year ago – in great anticipation) not for any good reason but simply because I forgot about it.

The tapestries filled a hall the length of a football field (to use an American unit of measurement). Lingering for a while would have been in order. To be fair, I did at the time register how extraordinary they were. But was simultaneously feeling an urgent wish to reach the end of the passage and see the famous antique sculpture collection, dug out of the Roman earth beneath our feet.

Such a tiny sample, not the best known or finest of the statues by any means, but this is not a guide book and these are just the ones that caught my eye, or caught the light in an appealing way.