Saturday, March 23, 2013

Art Appreciation

A truly beautiful expression of one of the world's great religions.
And kick-ass spot to hold bingo and casino nights.
July, 1996
A tour of Saint Peter's Basilica.  
In Vatican City.  
Which is in the middle of Rome.  
Which is in Italy.  
You're welcome.

So, with all that money, you'd think they'd be able to afford
something better to announce selection of the Pope
than what you'd see on top of a crackhouse.
Tour guide:  "As you can see, Saint Peter's is not only the spiritual home to millions of the world's Roman Catholics, it is also repository of many priceless works of art.  For instance, if you look above your heads, you'll see works which highlight many famous Biblical scenes. Also, please note the larger-than-life size renditions of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  The little known fifth evangelist, Norman, was not painted, but his likeness in macaroni is available in our gift shop along with many terra-cotta and cheese statues of his holiness,  John Paul II.


La Pieta.
If you came expecting a sacrilegious wisecrack, forget it.  
My Easter post will be bad enough.
No sense pushing my luck.
  As you came into the church, you no doubt saw one of the world's most beautiful masterpieces, apart from Dogs Playing Poker, Michelangelo's Pieta.  Unfortunately, this statue of the Blessed Virgin and our Savior was attacked by a madman, purported to be George W. Bush.  Since that time, a sheet of plexiglas had been in place to protect it.  And the Vatican Death Ray.

  Off to the side, please take note of a truly wonderful statue of Saint Peter imparting his blessing.  Sculpted, we believe, in the 13th century, its right foot has been worn down by the countless thousands of pilgrims who have rubbed it to gain a blessing from the saint.  Or in the vain hope of getting three wishes.  But, that only works with genies who sound like Robin Williams.  But, please refrain from doing do yourselves.  Unless you want to be part of the continued desecration of this priceless work of art.

  Now, if we continue on, we'll see the banks of the Vatican's Protestant Detectors..."
Yeah.  
I did.  
Seriously, are you surprised?



Epilogue:  On the bright side of my visit, I learned that the Pope is Catholic.  Now, if I could only find out whether a bear shits in the woods....

29 comments:

  1. I do personally love fine art like the kind you find in churches and despite not really being a Christian have gone in to them for the way they look alone. I'm surprised they still let people rub the foot, but I also wouldn't be too surprised if they don't and you just copped a feel while no one was looking.

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    1. Who's to say I don't have a picture of me with one of the statues in the Vatican's "Female Nudes From the Ancient World" gallery?

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  2. I heard on the radio that the new Pope called the newspaper and cancelled his paper. (he did the calling himself) He said he would be away from home for a while so they should cancel the paper.

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    1. Plus, he didn't want to make the paperboy walk all that way into the church.

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  3. Dogs playing poker still beats all.

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    1. Or Velver Elvis.
      Or Sad Clown.
      Or Deer/Elk on a satin tapestry.
      Or, really, anything you can pick up at a gas station somewhere.

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  4. Be glad you were not escorted outta the building! When we were in Florence there was a rule about no taking pictures of "The David". Seriously, how could you not take pictures of that masterpiece? So, my redneck hubby "snuck some pics" and security came out and told him he had to leave. Pppffffttt, I now got pictures baby so I can look at that ding dong all day long!!!!!

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    1. But I was Catholic and, hence, in the "club," so to speak.
      I have to ask, when you say "ding dong," do you mean David or your husband? Imagine if your husband's name IS David.

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  5. you'd think the Vatican could afford some fireworks at least

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    Replies
    1. Or Beyonce. Or clowns.
      I hear there's plenty in Congress.

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  6. I'm sure your trusty mutt could lead you to a bears hut and then eat the poo proving it was true.

    hahaha not surprised at all. Now if you can find robin williams you may get 3 wishes.

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    1. I looked for Robin, but he was too busy being an "artiste" (slang for "unemployed").

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  7. Replies
    1. I did, but one of them turned out to be a real bummer. I ended up with this monstrous piano player in my bedroom.
      I wonder to whom I need to complain that I DIDN'T say, "I want a huge PIANIST."
      NOTE: Old joke. Not mine. But I like it.

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  8. I have been as well, in all seriousness, it was one of the most beautiful places I have been from an "art" point of view. The Sistine Chapel was amazing as well, but I have to say I was NOT impressed by the ceiling, WAY too much hype, and I could get a better view from books. :)

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    1. In all seriousness, I too was way impressed. Although the picture IS real. The Sistine Chapel likewise underwhelmed me. Don't get me wrong, it was MUCH better than a paint-by-numbers, but it was a lot smaller than I was led to believe (okay...wait for it...that's what she said).

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    2. Yeah... what the books don't tell you is the incredible detail in EVERYTHING, even the floors, that make it amazing. The chapel is nice, don' get me wrong, but how long can you stare up at something to look at it? Eventually, you get a kink in your neck (unless, you know... you're a professional at working your neck in that position. *wink*)

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  9. Yeah in a serious note I'm really envious that you got to go on this trip Al, this is a place that I would absolutely love to visit. Point duly noted on that smoke thing, they really should invest in some new state of the art pipe/chimney to announce the news.

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    1. I've been to Rome five times, once with my family. It's a fascinating place. And full of old stuff.

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  10. That sounds like an awesome place to visit. If only I could travel anywhere on student budget. :(

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    1. The best thing about joining the navy is that I had a chance to visit some of the world's truly wonderful places. And Brindisi, Italy.

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  11. Wait, are you trying to tell us that the Pope lives in a crackhouse?

    xoRobyn

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  12. Yeah I liked this post, like the photos and made me wish I could visit Rome..........

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    1. That would be a helluva slog for you, huh? Even though it's dirty in a lot of places, it was the neatest place I ever had a chance to visit.

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  13. I envy you your chance t otour those beautiful buildings
    One day...when I win lotto

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    1. You know, when I thought about it, I could have used this for 'V' (Vatican), but I didn't think of it until it was too late.
      I've settled for Vlad the Impaler, though.

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