Venice at the Vatican

I was in Rome a couple months ago and of course visited the Vatican museums. Overwhelming and amazing! I forgot how astonishing Raphael’s work is and felt like I saw things anew. My husband and I also found seats along the wall in the Sistine Chapel and were able to gazed to our heart’s content.

I always feel a jolt when I see Venice depicted anywhere, so in the gallery of maps I stared for a long time at the paintings of Venice. It’s fun to notice the little details: the two islands of San Michele are separate, though the whole thing is much larger now; there’s no bridge to the mainland; but the Arsenale looks unchanged. Notice how few buildings there are on Giudecca. What else do you notice?

This painting shows a miniature of the archipelago and the islands that protect it. It looks like the buildings are simply floating on the water, with no land beneath. No wonder people had the belief that Venice was a floating city! You also get a better sense of the marshlands abutting the mainland. I’ve heard that bringing back robust marshlands like this would greatly reduce the damaging effects of high tides, as the marshes would absorb and hold more of the water.

This is the fuller view of that painting, showing more of the Adriatic.

And of course we need St. Mark and his winged lion nearby to protect the city. They seem very modern, surfing the waves on a lion jet ski.

I have to include this one just for fun. Angels lounging on a raft! They look like bored children on vacation. “How long till we get there, dad?”

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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1 Response to Venice at the Vatican

  1. Great photos. I agree, Raphael’s work is amazing, and sadly, often under-mentioned when people discuss the Vatican Museum. The conversations often focus on the Sistine Chapel.

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