Visiting the Vatican Museums while in Rome is a must if you love art and history. The vast richness and splendor of the long halls and chapels, along with the stifling crowds, is almost overwhelming. Too much to really take in. But I found a quiet refuge in the Modern Art gallery tucked away in the middle of the Vatican, where I was able to move at leisure, uncrowded. There I found religious art by Van Gogh, Chagall, Matisse, Kandinsky, Klee, Redon, Picasso, and so many others.
The place I was most excited to see was the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo”s painting of the Creation of Adam, with God’s finger touching Adam’s. But when I reached the place after being herded through so many countless rooms, I did not recognize it at all. While I found a place against the wall to actually sit and rest my poor feet, I gazed up at the magnificent paintings on the ceiling, not realizing I was in the Sistine Chapel. I was shocked to see the Creation painting, one small rectangle among dozens. Can you find it in the image below?
For some reason I expected that to be the dominant painting covering nearly the entire ceiling. Not so, as you can see. It is almost lost among the others.
Photographs were not allowed in the Sistine Chapel, so the images of the Creation painting featured above are not mine. The photos below are.
The Sistine Chapel was not the only room where the ceilings and walls were covered in paintings.
But for all the splendor of the long halls and chapels, my favorite rooms and artwork were more intimate and modern.
Sometimes for me, the simplest drawings are the most moving.
These time-worn tiles below . . .
. . . and this little faded alcove above also touched me.
But of course, my favorite is still the Creation painting. Even as small as it is and almost lost among the many, it moves me like no other.