Michaelangelo’s Legacy After 450 Years

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Piazza di Campidoglio

Piazza di Campidoglio

We are surrounded by works of Michaelangelo as he spent the latter part of his life here in Rome. Every day, walking home from the market, I can’t help admiring the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica which was designed by him and of course, crowds throng the Sistine chapel to gaze at his paintings on the ceiling and front wall. Since most of his larger works, both sculptures and paintings, are ‘in situ’ and cannot be moved, I was not particularly tempted to see an exhibition of his work at the Capitoline museum marking the 450th anniversary of his death. However, we felt that we should go just to see what was on display.

Michaelangelo's David

Michaelangelo’s David

The Capitoline museum is at the Piazza di Campidoglio which fittingly, was designed by Michaelangelo and houses both the museum as well as City Hall. At the entrance to the museum, we were greeted by a copy of Michaelangelo’s 17 ft high statue of David. The original is in the museum in Florence and many copies exist but this one was done by 3D scanning and some sort of resin. Amazing what modern technology can do!

Michaelangelo really was an incredible man, and it is unimaginable that a single person could be a master of sculpture, painting, architecture and even poetry and not only that, but could have produced so much in his lifetime of 89 years. Very difficult to exhibit such a broad range of monumental work and I felt that the exhibition did not do justice to his genius.

Michaelangelo's Sketch of Piazza di Campidoglio

Michaelangelo’s Sketch of Piazza di Campidoglio

There were some very interesting sketches and drawings and childishly, I was taken with his drawing of the Piazza di Campidoglio as we could actually see the piazza out of the window as shown in the above photo. What surprised me was his body of written work. I did not know that he had written so much poetry and though I could not read it, I found it a pleasure just to look at his exquisite handwriting.

The Piazza is on a little hill with the Foro Romano just behind it. The two museum buildings flanking City Hall, are connected by an underground tunnel with views of Roman excavations below and steps leading up to behind City Hall with spectacular views of the Foro. As you can imagine, the museum is quite extensive and after tramping up and down for a couple of hours we came upon the cafe on the top floor where the view was amazing. ¬†Needless to say, we sat down immediately to have lunch. My regular readers may have noticed that I change the header picture of my blog occasionally. What you now see is the view from the terrace at the top showing a number of church domes including St. Peter’s.







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