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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

05/07/2019, 12:11

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #affresco, #pittura, #arte, #art, #museivaticani, #museo, #raffaello, #raphael



THE-MEETING-BETWEEN-POPE-LEO-THE-GREAT-AND-ATTILA


 In the Vatican Museums you will find gorgeous frescos by Raphael. Some of them are depicting historical episodes, as that one between the Pope Leo the Great and Attila, leader of the Huns...



In the Room of Heliodorus at the Vatican Museums there are four amazing frescos by Raphael. One of them is very nice, the so called "Meeting between Pope Leo the Great and Attila". Here the master of the Renaissance age depicted and historical meeting, really happened at the 452 in the north of Italy. Raphael shows the barbarian leader as a real king, with his crown above his head, debunking the idea that Attila was just a wild man who was able to lead a horde and no more. But now try to see the gesture made by Attila, who his almost falling down from his horse. Why? Due to the presence of the Patrons of Rome, St Peter and St Paul, who are coming down from the sky, holding their swords, helping the Pope. It is nice to notice the disorder of the Attila’s army (try to observe the white skittish horse at the foreground) and the hieratic calm of the Pope and his fellows. A great contraxt used to underline how the Holy Church is always helped by God, and how the believers must know that God is always ready for them. It is the reason why Raphael based the episode in Rome (for example you can see the Colosseum at the background), when as I told before the meeting took place miles and miles far from the Eternal City. In this way again the Pope underlined how God protects Rome, defending the Eternal City by the enemies. Moreover try to see the Pope, clearly displayed on his white horse with the "tiara" and the golden mantle. His gesture is so quiet and calm, but there’s something more: the Pope Leo the Great has the portrait of Leo X, the Pope who commissioned to Raphael this fresco. But there is another curiosity for you: do you see the two cardinals behind the Pope? The first man, that one at the foreground, is the...Pope! Same face, same portrait! Why? Because Raphael started the fresco when the previous Pope, Julius II, was alive. So for the first projects the Leo the Great should be personified by Julius II, and when Leo X was just a cardinal. But when Raphael had already made the two cardinals behind the Pope Julius II died, at the 1513. Leo X asked to Raphael to go on with the masterpiece, leaving his first portrait but also adding his face to depict Leo the Great! Why not! Now what is interesting to know is something about the historical episode, that is very unusual. Attila, the leader of the Huns, was almost unstoppable. When he came from Europe, going beyond the borders of the modern Italy, Leo the Great probably got scared. When he was a child, at the 410 AD, he suffered a lot when Rome was sacked. So he tried to do whatever he could do, mainly being a Pope, in order to stop a new raid. But again, it seemed that nothing could stop Attila. So, when the Pope and the Huns met at the 452 AD, in what way did the Pope convince Attila to come back? For the Christian literary sources Attila really saw St Paul and St Peter, understanding that Rome could not be sacked due to the Holy Church. Maybe Leo the Great paied Attila, giving him a real treasure. Maybe Attila wouldn’t like to go on with his mission in Italy because he got scared for the malaria, an epidemic that at that time was hitting several people in Italy. So, what is truth? Who knows... #romeisus #Rome#museo #arte #unaguidaturisticaroma #atourguiderome #art


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