Join us as we continue making fun of priceless artwork!
God damn it. Moreso than Rome, Venice and the Vatican itself, I was looking forward to seeing the Borghese Gallery’s statuary. I had heard it was the stuff of legends and home to many of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s best works.
And we weren’t going to get to see any of it. Neither of us realized the ticket was only good for a 2-hour admission window. We had spent the whole of it touring the gallery of paintings.
When I had first redeemed our tickets, I overheard the gruff woman at the counter tell some customers that they were booked solid into next week so I didn’t have any hope when my wife went to see if we could get re-admission.
But guess whose wife can charm her way into repeat tickets at an already-booked venue, and at a discount?
Only the luckiest bastard on earth.
Not unlike the usher nearby, who must have thought we snuck back in since she insisted on singling us out to check our tickets.
A gorgeous painting. The color has that surreal three-dimensional look to it like so many others we’d seen. Does her expression betray her heavy-handedness with the blush or did someone just walk in on her cheating on her taxes?
Another pantheon of the gods. This isn’t the best we’ve seen, but it’s certainly not bad. What I like about it is that feeling of chumminess expressed here– the framing forces all of the characters into close proximity. They look like they’re having a good time, sitting on their stoop, passing around the booze and watching the sun set. It’s a very intimate and peaceful portrait of an otherwise cantankerous cast of characters.
This is a bust of Cardinal Domenico Ginnasi. I don’t know much about him but his eyes are very unsettling. They’re dead. Just so…dead. They remind me of a magazine cover that bothers me every time I see it in the supermarket checkout line.
Titian also painted this one of Christ, flagellated:
Yet another image of Christ suffering, yes, but take a moment to really look at this one. Titian used shadow to great dramatic effect. Most of Christ’s body is shrouded in shadow. His wounds are definitely the highlight of the image; the eye is meant to see the lashings the man received at the hands of his captors.
Hidden slightly by shadow, though still visible, is his face. Look at his eyes. This is a man who has seen the worst humanity has to offer and knows more will follow. Most depictions of Jesus focus on his physical suffering; depending on what you’re looking at, he either looks emaciated to death or absolutely fucking ripped.
This is the first painting of Christ I’ve ever seen that seems to make any attempt to depict the way he actually feels.
It’s Lucrezia Borgia again, only now she’s a little older. She’s traded in her unicorn for a knife, listens to Sisters of Mercy and writes bad poetry. Daddy Pope is too busy trying to marry her off for political gain to pay her any attention.
Cupid and Psyche. One of the more bizarre stories in Greco-Roman lore. After getting married sight unseen and consummating their marriage in the darkness, Psyche’s sisters convinced her that her shadow husband was a demon. She snuck up on him with a knife and an oil lamp but when the light revealed he was pretty hot, she spilled hot wax all over him instead.
Cupid wasn’t into the whole BDSM thing so he freaked out and ran off.
He was confident. Sexy. The god of…everything else. When their eyes met in a heavenly hotel room, the flames of passion roared with the intensity of a thousand suns…
…until someone left the goddamn window open and the room was besieged by a bunch of armed children. And a peacock.
On the left you have a bunch of idiots firing blindly from the crowd. On the right you have people directly in the line of fire, and in the foreground you have people who decided this was a fine time to take a bath. This is what I imagine a Gathering of the Juggalos looks like.
Surprisingly enough they managed to kill something but how the hell that’s going to feed this ship of fools is anybody’s guess.
And with that, we had finally finished touring the third floor of the Borghese Gallery. Time to finally move on to the statuary!