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A Van Gogh painting in the Vatican Museums

By crossing the entrance of the Vatican Museums we mostly think about art, history and religion. We think about the power of Roman sculptures and the calm of Egyptian statues. To the timeless perfection of the Renaissance frescoes by Michelangelo and Raphael.

And that’s exactly where we have to go: halfway between the rooms frescoed by Raphael for popes Julius II and Leo X and Michelangelo’s sensational Sistine Chapel. There, in the rooms frescoed at the end of the 1400s by Pinturicchio for Pope Alexander VI Borgia, we find a museum of modern art; this is the collection opened in 1973 by Pope Paul VI, one of the thirteen museums of the Vatican Museums.

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Off the beaten track: not ordinary Rome (part 1)

EDIT: I started writing this post before Italy’s lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak. It was originally supposed to be the second part of this post. At that time the emergency wasn’t so big, and didn’t seem to be any real danger even in Rome. The whole country was living as usual, and no alarm had yet shaken Italy and Rome. The situation quickly changed:

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All roads lead to Rome

For a long time, the Etruscans governed Rome, and by them the Romans borrowed habits and practices. Etruscans were, in fact, three of the seven legendary kings who governed Rome: the Tarquinii (Tarquin the Elder, Servius Tullius, Tarquin the Proud).

In 509 BC The last Etruscan King Tarquin the Proud was banned from Rome, Etruscan rule over the city done and the Republic began.

If the presence of the Etruscans in Rome considerably  influenced the customs of the original population (especially religion, with the construction of important temples and shrines, or the construction of essential infrastructures fot the future of Rome such as Cloaca Maxima or the drainage of the Valley of the Forum), their absence also brought great changes to Roman society.

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White in technicolor. The Ara Pacis with Augmented Reality.

Only few monuments of the ancient world have become a symbol. The Ara Pacis, the altar built for the Emperor Augustus to celebrate the finally achieved peace, is one of those works that became the emblem of its own era.

From its realization in 9 B.C. to the final discovery and exploitation between 1930 and 1940, its status was able to re-establish itself in recent years through several initiatives aimed at give back a timeless image.

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Jupiter and Ganymede: an immense passion for the ancient world

1700 was an incredibly vibrant century in Rome from the artistic point of view; crossroads of artists, intellectuals, connoisseurs and art lovers, the Eternal City was an incubator of ideas that, developing, have shaped our vision of classical aesthetics.

(another post about neoclassic art is here)

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Jean Arp’s poetic. An exhibition at Diocletian’s Baths

Jean Arp has often been seen almost exclusively as related to Dadaism. But it’s not so easy.

The relationship with the Dada movement is not only undeniable, but essential for the definition of his poetic. Arp was, in fact, a personality more complex than it might appear.

The current exhibition at the National Museum of Rome – Baths of Diocletian (until January 15, 2017) aims to shed light on the artist from Alsace, on his touching several artistic movements of the 1900s, and his coming to an entirely original work.

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