I’m not a Christian and I’m going to be seeing a lot of religious art in Rome(Vatican) and Florence(Uffizi and David). Any high level 101/context helps. I’m reading Wikipedia too… curious what blew you away when you saw these places

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Think of it as art history and not religion. The shear size and age of the pieces is enough to blow your mind. I mean, I can barely draw a stick figure and these people were painting extraordinarily detailed scenes on ceilings 100s of years ago.
The religious context helps to understand the scenes you’re looking at, but it really doesn’t matter. Enjoy it just as you would a piece of art of any kind!

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There is a show on Roku right now called museum secrets, and they have episodes for Vatican and Uffizi. Try that. It covers some backstory of art and artists that may add some color to your trip. Michelangelo’s ego and Caravaggio’s lack of social skills, for instance.

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Thanks I enjoy such background

Christian art is largely either Jesus and the disciples or Mary, or Old Testament figures (like Moses, David or the prophets). The Sistine chapel (particularly the wall and ceiling) is amazing.

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If you can see the necropolis (you have to make advanced reservation), it’s also worth it from a historical perspective.

So the Vatican museum has a ton of stuff including all of the art that the church stole over the years from other places. So that part isn’t necessarily religious. There’s cool Egyptian stuff in there. The Sistine chapel is cool—no need to study anything—just enjoy it. St. Peter’s basilica is amazing because of the scale of it and you’ve probably seen it on tv. With the uffizi just enjoy the pieces you like. The birth of Venus and spring by Botticelli are there and are beautiful. The portraits of the duke and duchess of urbino is super famous but doesn’t do a lot for me. Check out the uffizi website and the Vatican websites.

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I agree you should go with a perspective on art history instead of religious art. I find art much more interesting when I know the context, how this period is different from art in the prior period and what was going on in society that influenced artists (like the rebirth and rediscovery of detail and beauty in Italian renaissance art). Worth googling Italian renaissance art generally, before reading up on specific pieces at the uffizi.

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Just ask the guys in the black robes and white collars they’ll tell you all about it

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