The Vatican Museum is home to a plethora of beautiful artworks that span centuries. Most of these artworks depict moments from history and the artists’ interpretation of stories in the Bible. This is one of the reasons why tourists at the Vatican City would always make time to visit the museum.
But because of the lockdowns imposed in several countries, tourists are currently banned from visiting the Vatican Museum. Which is why, the museum directors and coordinators have found a way to bring the art to the people, even if they are in their own homes.
In coordination with Vatican News, the Vatican Museum will make certain artworks from the museum available online. Some of the paintings featured are from the “Masterpieces from the Vatican Collection,” each matched with descriptions of Pope Francis’ thoughts on the artworks.
Here are five of the beautiful paintings featured in the Vatican Museum and Vatican News’s initiative:
Madonna with Child, known as “Our Lady of the Sill”
(Bernardino di Betto, known as Pinturicchio, c. 1490)
“We are certain that each one of us is precious in your eyes and that nothing in our hearts has estranged you. Would that we allow your sweet gaze to reach us and the perpetual warmth of your smile. Guard our life with your embrace: bless and strengthen every desire for goof; give new life and nourishment to faith; sustain and enlighten hope; awaken and animate charity; guide us all on the path to holiness.” – Pope Francis, 13 October 2013, Act of entrustment to Mary, Virgin of Fatima
Christ in Glory
(Marco dal Pino, 1556-1571)
“How does the Lord comfort? Tenderly. Tenderness is a language unknown to the prophets of doom. ‘Behold, his reward is with hi, and his recompense goes before him,’ as the passage of Isaiah concludes. ‘Like a shepherd he feeds his flock: in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, leading the ewes with care.’ This is the way, the Lord consoles: tenderly. Tenderness consoles. When a baby cries, mothers caress and calm them down with tenderness: a word that today’s world, has, in fact, removed from the dictionary. Tenderness.” – Pope Francis, 11 December 2018, Homily
Stories of Mary Magdalene
(Cenni di Francesco, undated)
“Each of us is poor, needy, and destitute. When we are born, we require the care of our parents to survive, and at every stage of life we remain in some way dependent on the help of others. Also, this is a condition that characterizes our being “creatures.” We should not be afraid to regard ourselves as needy or reliant on others, because God himself, in Jesus, has humbly stooped down to us (cf. Phil 2:8) and continues to do so; in our poverty, he comes to our aid and grants us gifts beyond our imagining. –Pope Francis, 2019, message for the 27th World Day of the Sick
“The resurrection of Christ is the principle of new life for every man and every woman, for true renewal always begins from the heart, from the conscience. Yet Easter is also the beginning of the new world, set free from the slavery of sin and death: the world open at last to the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of love, peace, and fraternity. Christ is alive and he remains with us. Risen, he shows us the light of his face, and he does not abandon all those experiencing hardship, pain, and sorrow.” – Pope Francis, 21 April 2019, Urbi et orbi Message
Weeping over the Dead Christ
(Pietro da Cortona, 1635)
“The incarnate Son of God did not remove illness and suffering from human experience but by taking them upon himself he transformed them and gave them new meaning. New meaning because they no longer have the last word which, instead, is new and abundant life.” – Pope Francis, 2014, message for the 22nd World Day of the Sick
The Vatican Museum updates its online artworks on a regular basis. If you want to see more, you may click here.