lunedì 9 aprile 2012

The angels of Raffaello

In a morning of blue skies and angels, I had joined a guided tour to Raffaello's rooms in the Vatican, organized by a she professor who teaches in a blessed Roman University. We met in the gleaming hall of the Vatican museums, closed by the Vatican walls: me, in the frenzy of visitors, children and adults, that cloistered for tickets and souvenirs.  While my Virgil chatted, long and wide, with a Max Mara dressed manager of the museum, I bought a bookmark in the litlle Vatican shop, that displayed in all its beauty a blond Melozzo angel.
At last, the group is tied up an ready to move on. Now I know, looking at all those global faces, yellow and black and all the colours of the raimbow, why my professor had sighed: "Oh how difficult it is to spray a bit of umanistic salt and Renaissance pepper on top of the Ands and on the Tropic of Capricorn..."
Well, off we went, through long corridors, full of everything that is beauty, running along, with no time whatsoever to search and spot, in the huge map halls, the tiny village of Monte Santa Maria, lost in the sabine hills, where I bought a little house with a terrace that scrapes skies and angels... No way, run run run and if time is friendly we might throw a glance to the Sistine Chapel.
At last, here we are in the majestic rooms that Pope Giulio II, a warrior, a nobleman, one who was a great friend of Michelangelo, asked Raffaello to paint. Which thing he, Raffaello did in glory. Here we are  in the Sala della Segnatura, in front of the School of Athens. Plato and Arstoteles, finger up for the first (meaning that the answers are all in the attic...), finger down for the second who believed in the superior thruth of reality. And while my guide starts the usual game of finding out who is who: Parmenides and Eraclitus and all the others, philosophers and mathematicians, and so on and on between the blue skies and the imperial geometries of the place, I loose myself in front of the great painting, ignoring a  game which I played a long time ago when I studied history of art at University... My two eyes, and the third one too, open to faces and art.  And lo, I see them, the angels that, fresh in the morning, saluted me from up above! I see them, white and blond, snow sight, looking at me from the painting. Thre angels on a row, on the left, in the mixt of all the scholars: a todler, a little boy and a lovely teen ager. The three of them, there forever, to  witness, right in the middle of all the human toil for knowledge, the eternal mistery of life...