Saw this today in San Pietro in Vincoli.
Just look at him. Isn’t he majestic? My father had been to Rome before I was born, and bought a little black and white postcard of Moses which was in our kitchen. I must have absently looked at it a hundred times, so it was thrilling to see it for real.
We have rented a car for the week, which means we can get around from place to place fairly quickly and efficiently. We visited 3 churches this afternoon, and were not tired. So glad we didn’t listen to the guide-book, or the lady we rented our apartment from who warned us not to drive in Rome. It was actually easy with our sat nav which we brought with us (my birthday present to Roy) and so far, we haven’t had trouble finding parking or had to pay for it. Maybe, it was just the luck of the Mathiases, or maybe the places weren’t strictly legal. A bit of each, I suspect.
According to legend, Michaelangelo was so captivated by the lifelikeness of his creation that he struck its knee with his hammer and said, Speak.
Moses was carved by Michaelangelo for the tomb of Julius II, his muse and nemesis, his mentor and tormentor. Julius commanded him to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which he did, on his back, over 4 uncomfortable years. Michaelangelo demurred, saying that he was a sculptor, not a painter. Turns out he was superlative in each art!
The tomb of Julius II was something he really wanted to do. It occupied him for decades, while each successive Pope distracted him with commissions, and when he died, he left it unfinished. A real life “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”
Trivia: Why is Michaelangelo’s Moses horned? Because The Douay-Rheims Bible translates the Vulgate as, “And when Moses came down from the Mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord.” Horned was a clumsy translation for glorified or radiant!!
We next drove to Santa Maria Maggiore
It had lavish marble walls, and breath-taking mosaics. Must get Roy to sort out some of our attempts at photography, and put them here.
I love the lavish Medici use of marble. It reminds of Florence with gorgeous pietre dure and inlaid marble everywhere; it was such an ecstatic experience for me, though it’s been 12 years since we last visited it.
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