Vatican City, Rome

There's so much to see: Saint Peter's Basilica, the Stanze, the Sistine Chapel, and the Museums.

Athanadoros, Hagesandros, and Polydoros of Rhodes, <em>Laocoön and his Sons</em>
Athanadoros, Hagesandros, and Polydoros of Rhodes, Laocoön and his Sons

The writhing agony of the Trojan Laocoon made this Hellenistic masterpiece famous throughout history.

The Regolini-Galassi tomb and the Parade Fibula
The Regolini-Galassi tomb and the Parade Fibula

The assemblage of objects in the Regolini-Galassi tomb represents a broad geographic range and an aesthetic that indicates the influence of the ancient Near East.

<em>Augustus of Primaporta</em>
Augustus of Primaporta

Nothing was more important to a Roman emperor than his image.

Codex Borgia
Codex Borgia

Thirty-three feet long, the Codex Borgia records historical, ritual, mythological, and botanical information.

Kente cloth
Kente cloth

This cloth—first woven by a wise spider—sends social messages through a system of specific patterns.

Tomb of the Scipios and the sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus
Tomb of the Scipios and the sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus

Even in death, great Roman families were concerned with reinforcing and projecting their status.

Raphael, <em>School of Athens</em>
Raphael, School of Athens

Whose side are you on? Two great philosophers of antiquity, Plato and Aristotle, face off in this meeting of minds.

Lysippos, <em>Apoxyomenos (Scraper)</em>
Lysippos, Apoxyomenos (Scraper)

Ancient Greek athletes cleaned themselves with oil. This sculpture shows one athlete’s bathing ritual.

Veristic male portrait
Veristic male portrait

With age comes experience, and sculptors in the Roman Republic highlighted seniority—warts and all.

Exekias, Attic black figure amphora with Ajax and Achilles playing a game
Exekias, Attic black figure amphora with Ajax and Achilles playing a game

Achilles and Ajax, heroes of the Trojan War, break from battle to play a friendly game that hints at a tragic future.

Michelangelo, <em>Last Judgment</em>, Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo, Last Judgment, Sistine Chapel

As demons harvest new souls and angels wake the dead, Mary crouches, powerless beside Christ.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s Square
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s Square

Central to the Counter Reformation, Bernini’s double colonnades activate St. Peter’s and reach out into the city.