Rome--the Vatican Museum

There is so much to see and do in Rome and so little time. Today, I'll put up some of my favorite images from the Vatican Museum and then tomorrow, I'll post highlights from my walking tour of the city. Day after, I'll try to hit Ostia and then onto Athens! Needless to say, despite being in Rome, many of my favorite things to see have been Greek. The Vatican has some of the most well-known Attic vase images in their collection and that collection is not heavily trafficked--for shame!

Me and my girl--though forgive that I had been wearing that outfit for nearly 4 days straight--luggage did finally arrive Tuesday.

One of the most awesome statue groups ever--Roman copy of the Athena and Marsyas. Just think about how many ways this is awesome because of who Athena is and who Marsyas is and then look at Athena's body language.  It gets even more awesome then.

This is a construction scene from a famous freedman's tomb. It shows the construction of the actual tomb. Look at the little hamsters in the wheel!

Kalos/kale vase in which the amazon is kale. 

Just in case you couldn't see it, note the "kale" above her head. 

The argument for reading vase imagery ethically instead of as reflections of real life--flute girl holds man's head as he vomits.

This vase by Exekias is famous as a paradigm for dozens of knock-off images of Achilles and Ajax playing (sometimes with Athena on the background, but not until after the Cleisthenic reforms).

THe close-ip of Ajax's cloak, though, tells you why this is the paradigm and rightly famous. LOOK AT THAT DETAIL!


On Sunday (my first full day back in Rome), I went to a museum I have never seen, the Montemartini. It is one of the coolest museum spaces I have ever seen. It is an old power plant that now houses part of the Capitoline Museum collection. In addition to having some very beautiful pieces, the juxtaposition of the ancient and modern, mechanical and artistic, is very compelling. Here are a few images to show you what I mean:

As I said, very cool. And here are just a few more of my favorite pieces from the museum.

Me with a giant head of Fortuna (probably). I have needed a little fortuna this week.

Graver Stele for a young boy who had won a poetry competition just before dying. His parents had the winning poem inscribed on the tomb.

Sadly, my camera battery died and I was not able to take pictures at the Capitoline. Such is life.

The Summer Invasion

As with last year, I will here record my adventures abroad as I make my way through another summer slog researching my beloved Greeks. 

This year's barbarian invasion includes a week in Roma followed by time in Athens and Crete. The journey began a little bit questionably given that the Romans were trying their best to keep me out--flight delay, touch and go on being re-routed, a side-trip through Madrid, and an additional seven hours of travel time--and have spent the last couple of days trying to keep me unarmed (i.e. without my luggage). But, the luggage is due to be delivered within the hour and all will be well. 

This summer's work includes work on some tombstones at various museums (can't post those images here) and a visit to Eleusis and Knossos. I started, however, with trips to the Museo della Centrale Montemartini and Capitoline museums and Vatican museums in Roma. Once I finish up some work, I'll start with shots from the Montemartini and Capitoline. Sadly, my camera battery was not fully charged and died while in the Capitoline. I recharged it for the Vatican, though. Those shots will come later.