Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tuesday, February 9

This afternoon, the group went to Musei Capitolini Roma. From the street below we walked up stairs, DESIGNED MY MICHELANGELO!!!!!!! he also made the two sculptors representing two rivers (Tiber and Nile...depicted as men, they are symbolic of the rivers.) on either side of the top of the stairs that were the enterance to a palizia (that he also designed). The "stairs" were stones, layed together at an angle and at intervals, going horizontally across this sort of slope-ing ramp were little raised stones...hence creating a sort of step-the whole way up the hill!
In the center was the (replica) of the bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius victorious on a horse. Standing next to it, the monument looms above your head, but you can see the veins on the horse's body, and details of the man's armor and counenance. One of his hands is outreached to show protection to his people, and power in his speaking and addressing of the people (also frequently seen on ceaser augustus' statues). The other hand has two fingers slightly bent to show piety or blessings (later became really popular in depictions of Jesus and Saints.)
The buildings themselves were very interesting, with a few giant sculptors of men lounging on either side of the central one, and the goddess minerva at the center. The same central building had stairs on both sides leading all the way up to the door. they said that was the mayors palazzo. We went into the museum on the otherside.
The first couryard held the remaining marble pieces of what was once a GIANT statue of Constantine. I didnt get many pictures of his head, or hand, and i wanted to "flex" my arm in a curl next to the remianing piece of his bicep and elbow(but my camera's battery blinked off) Did, however, get a pic in front of his foot! because it was hilarious. just.a big...foot!
Walking to the next gallery had frescos all over the walls depicting Roman populace life, daily activities, wars, and functions. In one room On the celing, which was divided into squares, there was midevil/ renaissance scenes depicted with knights and ladies and such.

This statue (to the left) is a well known bronze sculptor with amazing detail including the curve of the figures spine, the muscles, shoulder blades, arch of his neck. in bronze!oh ridiclously awesome. I can't imagine the work it took to get the block of metal worked down and then sanded and edged to the human form. i get little goosebumps (people bumps?) all up and down my arms. Also the capitoline wolf was at the museum. she is from 500 B.C. and the two babies added in the Renaissance. Can you see the different textures on her mane? she's really rather fierce looking in real life (when your nose is at the same level of her jaw). Images of this she wolf is seen all over Rome, as a symbol for the famous tale of Romulus and Remus (the two babies) . Abandoned on the Tiber River, and sons of the god Mars. A female wolf suckled them until they were taken in by a shepherd.When the grew up and founded the city of Rome. In a competition to see which would be the ruler, Romulous ended up killing his brother. The story is considered the starting point for the history of Rome.

Sorry for the long drawn out descriptions and little pictures. I'm begining to feel like a boring textbook with my museum photos. My camera died after this, so there's a lot less. Which was prob good because then i was able to just wander around..mouth attractively agape at all these pieces of art.

it is really insane to think about. That these artists, and people formed these pieces of pottery, or marble, or paintings so many hundreds of years ago. Many made before America was even discovered!
The basement floor was all fragments of stone tablets with laws and codes inscribed on them, games, and such. To think that everything was carved in stone, and was uncovered to still exist today!
I am so very happy with paper and a pen. Or the computer... my illegible handwriting is kept unrevealed. (plus i can type faster then i can write...keeping this pages full of ramblings)

On another level was a courtyard with statues for the Roman gods and goddesses, as well more inside. For some reason I used to totally dig Greek mythology (which is the same thing only different names) something about the stories of these immortal figures that governed people lives and inspired these amazing, massive temples.

I like the stories of the gods and goddesses, something about how long the myths lasted through time...though, while reading the Aeneid..i'm starting to find them more and more...well, annoying. Some of them are unfailingly cool. but others sound like whiney little busy-bodies who go around being selfish about this, and angry over that,proud and plotting.
Either way, i was totally jazzed to take a pic by Minerva, goddess of warriors, wisdom, poetry, medicine etc. (aka Athena: the grey eyed goddess who was with Odysseus for that whole epic).
Top floor was paintings! Midevil (with the figures a little unproportioned and flat scenery), Renaissance (more depth, more shadows. More realism in the proportions) etc. etc. Saints, and angels and Madonna and Child, and the Trinity, more stories from mythology. All painted and preserved on these canvases that I can look at today. *sighs with happiness* by the time I got to the top i kinda wanted to sit down and stare ( eventually did the sitting bit), the colors and shapes the emotions that the painter depicted. The symbology that I am so very oblivious to... but wish i wasnt. Managed to pick up a little bit, thanks to humanities 203 last summer. Oh well, not a waste after all.
That night most of the group went to the Roman Baptist church we attended for Sunday because English classes are held there...and they need help. Different rooms had different levels. I ended up in Level a tiny sunday school classroom with the majority of the students old enough to be my grandparents...but fully capable of asking questions and talking in english (more than i think i will ever be able to do in Italian). The teacher of this class was a stylish older man, who explained with his hands and laughed often with a clear"HaHaHa" (like him more just for that) said he has been in Italy for 2 years working in the missions. He went back to the states for a month this past year, and will never ever return for that long ever again because of how much he dislikes the culture there. I really wanted to talk to him about why, and the things he notices, the differences. Will I be able to notice these after a few short months here?
English lesson was on prepositions. (at, to,in,on) I don't know HOW he explained it all because i have come to the conclusion that the english language has more exceptions than rules.
Afterwards they made pasta (with basil, and tomato sauce) for us all, and we sat around talking with the people who taught english. It was such a tiny little community, but strong and welcoming. Maybe it's a real-christian thing. Maybe it's just that feeling I have been missing from church back home.But I really and truly enjoyed the comradity around that table. They just wecomed our group for the evening, talking and asking us questions, giving us tips.
and Jill and I found a piano we are allowed to play on <3
the perfect ending to the long day. Gelato,of course! Bacio (chocolate nut type) and Noce (black Walnut).
ciao mi amici!
(by, my friends!)

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