There’s no shortage of reasons to travel – so many places to discover, so many things to experience. Sometimes though, it can help your decision-making to set a bit of a theme for your journey, choose something that interests you and go the places where you can experience the best that the world has to offer – explore your passions. For me, one of the things that I’m really interested in is art - particularly the European masters, old-world painting that often used historical or biblical settings to reflect current events or political allegiances. Here are three of my top destinations in the world if you’re a bit of an art-lover.
The Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
In the heart of Rome lies the small independent state that is the Vatican City, and deep within the Vatican City lies the Sistine Chapel. This is the chapel of the Apostolic Palace, which is the official residence of the Pope of the Catholic Church. From an art-lovers’ perspective, it’s the frescos that decorate the interior of the chapel that are worth travelling across the world for.
The most famous fresco is found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – it’s known as The Last Judgement, and it was painted by Michelangelo. Michelangelo painted The Last Judgement between 1535 and 1541. It’s become renowned as such as a significant painting that it’s widely acknowledged to have changed the course of art in the western world.
The Mona Lisa, Paris
Leonardo da Vinci’s half-length portrait of a woman has been widely acclaimed as the best-known and the most-visited work of art in the world. Painted around the year 1503, it has been permanently on display in The Louvre museum since 1797.
The painting is surprisingly small, and is protected by bullet-proof glass – following several vandalism attacks against it.
The popularity of the painting is generally thought to be because the viewer can almost read anything that they want into the image - it’s not a religious image, and the woman depicted was a real, ordinary person.
On average, visitors to The Louvre spend 15 seconds looking at the painting.
Statue of David, Florence
David is a 5.17 metre marble statue created by Michelangelo. The statue represents the biblical hero David, and is now displayed in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence. It was first unveiled to the city in the year 1504.
Michelangelo’s depiction of David – who is famous for having slain a giant with his sling – was groundbreaking because it didn’t depict the giant Goliath at all. The statue depicts David before his battle with Goliath - a moment between conscious choice and action, a symbol of strength and youthful beauty.
As a Renaissance interpretation of a classical Greek style of statue, Michelangelo has created a piece of unique beauty that has to be seen in person to be really appreciated.