The Sculpture in the Vatican Museum, Rome, Italy
are as extensive as it's rich and fruitful art collection
. Corridors, galleries and gardens are highly decorated with sculptures, mainly from the Roman empire period depicting famous faces of the time: rulers, fighters, Gods and Goddesses.
Whilst at a glance they may appear similar, each piece is different. Scale, material and subjects change with each artist and particular era. Each piece sits among relevant era or material collections.
Many pieces have a rusty, aged aesthetic, whilst others have pieces missing parts, abrasions or visible damage. Many statues are ruins and have endured Rome's history before going on show for Rome's visitors to see.
Scriptures are engraved on some statues, with religion, Gods and goddesses being the main scripture subjects.
In some of the galleries, restoration work stations are behind a glass panels, where you can watch the art historians and art restoration team do their work. Fascinating stuff.
The great spaces were filled with information in multiple languages giving in-depth information about each of the pieces and guiding you back through Rome's sculpture history.
The juxtaposition of more modern architecture and historical sculpture was really interesting. The use of light and space brought everything to life through a modern eye.
Many of the sculpture galleries were unlikely photo spots; featuring ruins, shaped and cut out larger scale sculptures like this one, where you can stand behind, in and below. A snap of history to take home. I doubt the artist intended the sculptures to be featured in 'Selfies' or as additions to holiday photos!
The busts, statues and art creations are a real Roman treasure. Showcasing both the era's histories and the time's craftsmen. Crazy to think of the skills needed to create such intricate pieces; no 3D printers, no CAD, just pure talent.
Another thing I observed whilst at the Vatican Museum, especially in the sculpture galleries, was that many locals were quietly observing the pieces, away from the crowds and city tour groups. Italians of all ages learning about their heritage and local Roman history; Showing that we should all make the effort to go see, learn and appreciate what's on our doorstep. Beauty is never far away.
If you're planning to go to the Vatican Museum see all my top tips here
and if you'd like to see more of the art on display at the Vatican, Click here.