Inside the Vatican Museum: A Private Tour

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Inside the Vatican Museum: A Private Tour

by Olessia Kantor
Adam Christianity Art History Art Michelangelo Raphael Galileo Galilei Copernicus Scientist Vatican Museum Vatican

I'm incredibly proud to be a Patron of the Arts of the Vatican Museum. It's wonderful being a member of a group that's committed to teaching the value of incredible, historical pieces of art and architecture to people worldwide. One of the wonderful perks of being a patron is private access to the Museum. Today, I'll take you on a tour of a few of my favorite places and pieces to visit.

The Pinacoteca di Brera Courtyard

Several statues in the courtyard honor artists, scientists, and patrons of the arts, including a bronze statue of Napoleon in the center.

Sfera Con Sfera

Artist Arnaldo Pomodoro gifted this to the museum. It is believed to represent the world breaking out of the Ptolemaic view of the heavens, referencing Copernicus and Galileo. Another version of the sculpture was destroyed in the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.

The Adoration of the Magi

Raphael's full-scale drawings of the designs (cartoons) now reside in the Victoria and Albert Museum, while the tapestries still hang in the Sistine Chapel on feast days.

The Gallery of Maps

The Gallery of Maps details the entire Italian peninsula from the regions surrounded by the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas to the regions surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, in several large frescoes based on drawings by geographer Ignazio Danti. The gallery, which is 40 panels and 120m long, took Danti three years to complete.

The Last Judgement

Michelangelo created The Last Judgement as a depicition of the second coming of Christ, as the souls rose and descended to meet their fates as decided by Christ and several saints.

The Creation of Adam

Michelangelo was known to be a master of the human anatomy and it is believed that this mastery was incorporated into The Creation of Adam. Researchers in the medical field often debate which body parts serve as inspirations for elements of the painting. Artistically, the design is also regarded as highly unique.

The door that you never see open, that connects the Sistine Chapel to Vatican City.

Cappella Paolina

This is where the Sacred College gathers for a sermon preparing them to choose the Church's next leader.

The Crucifixtion of St. Peter

This image, which was restored in 2009, sparked controversy when it was believed that the likeness of Michelangelo was uncovered within it.

Cappella Paolina served as both the Chapel of the Sacrament and Chapel of the Conclave when Michelangelo was commissioned for The Crucifixtion of St. Peter, as well as the Conversion of Saul. The project took over 7 years to complete.

Sala Ducale

Sala Ducale, which formerly held the public consistories for the reception of ruling princes.

Bernini's work became iconic for its combination of splendor and unifromity. Here we see Bernini's curtains in Sala Ducale.

Swiss Guard

A member of the renowned Swiss Guard. Recruits to the guards must be Catholic, single males with Swiss citizenship who have completed basic training with the Swiss military and can obtain certificates of good conduct. Recruits must have a professional degree or high school diploma and must be between 19 and 30 years of age and at least 5'8" tall. Qualified candidates must apply to serve. If accepted, new guards are sworn on 6 May every year in the San Damaso Courtyard.

St. Peter's Basilica

A splendid peek at St. Peter's Basilica. There was great controversy surrounding the construction of St. Peter's Basilica, which was funded in part by the granting of indulgences in exchange for contributions.

The Vatican Library

The entrance to the Vatican Library, which is home to over 75,000 codices and 8,000 incubala.