26 February 2012

Pope's Rings

After work today I walked over speedily to the National Gallery before it closed for the evening. As it is a Sunday I thought I might as well look at something religion related.
Portrait of Pope Julius II, 1511 Raphael
I remember this from school and the same Art History teacher I've mentioned before, gesticulating excitedly in front of it. The bit that sticks in my mind is her enthusiasm and wonder over the softness of Julius' beard. It does look pretty soft to the touch when you're up close. Apparently from 1511 Pope Julius wore a beard as a sign of mourning at having lost the city of Bologna.
What I really loved this evening were his rings:
I love cramming lots of ring onto my fingers and am very sentimental about the 3 I always wear, all heirlooms and gifts. Julius is doing pretty well here, wearing several big cut jewels set in gold next to each other.