The collections of the Vatican Museums include an incredible number of priceless treasures.
GREGORIAN EGYPTIAN MUSEUM: a small but fascinating collection which includes the Throne of Ramses II.
PIUS CLEMENTINE MUSEUM: a collection which includes such classical masterpieces as the Apollo Belvedere and the Laocoon, a group sculpture depicting a Trojan priest and his sons engaged in a mortal battle with two sea-snakes.
GREGORIAN ETRUSCAN MUSEUM: founded in 1836 and extended in 1996, this collection includes a large number of items found in the tombs of southern Etruria, and especially those found in the Regolini-Galassi tomb discovered to the south of Cerveteri in 1836.
CANDELABRA GALLERY: a fine collection of classical sculptures including several finely sculpted marble candelabras.
TAPESTRY GALLERY: a collection of enormous tapestries designed by the pupils of Raphael and woven in Brussels at the workshops of Pietre Van Aelst.
MAP GALLERY: a collection of 40 maps painted between 1580 and 1583 on behalf of Pope Gregory XIII on the basis of indications supplied by Ignazio Danti, one of the leading mapmakers of the time.
RAPHAEL ROOMS: not all the frescoes decorating the four rooms which originally composed the private apartments of Pope Julius II were painted by Raphael. Indeed, although the Room of the Signatura and the Room of Heliodorus were painted by the great master, the Room of the Fire in the Borgo and the Hall of Constantine were painted by his pupils.
SISTINE CHAPEL: built in 1484 on behalf of Pope Sixtus IV, after whom it is named, the Sistine Chapel decorated by Michelangelo on behalf of Pope Julius II. Commencing his work in 1508, it took the artist four years of lonely work to complete the grandiose composition with which he had decided to cover the 800 square metres of the chapel’s ceiling.
The centre of the ceiling is decorated with nine scenes from the Book of Genesis: The Separation of Light and Darkness; The Creation of the Sun, Moon and Earth; The Separation of Land and Water; The Creation of Adam; The Creation of Eve; The Temptation and Expulsion; The Sacrifice of Noah; The Great Flood; and the Drunkenness of Noah.
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