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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

This program will be available for sale to the general public starting on December 7, 2021.

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The Popes' Art

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Friday, February 18, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0674
Select Your Tickets
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member

Coat of arms of Urbanus VII, ceiling of the Map Room (detail), Vatican Museum, Vatican City, Rome

The Vatican Museums in Vatican City comprise 26 public art museums housing about 70,000 world-famous paintings and sculpture. Given its extraordinary depth, one might ask how the papacy came to possess one of the world's premier art collections. Was it through plunder, bequests, tithing, savvy investing, or simply luck? One thing is certain, the Vatican Museums’ treasures have attracted and inspired generations of admirers. 

Art historian Elizabeth Lev explores the origins of the world's first truly modern museum through the lives and times of three remarkable popes: Julius II, a visionary; Pius VI, a financier; and Pius XI, a savvy communicator. Over the course of 500 years, they amassed an art collection that includes such iconic works as Laocoön and His Sons; the Sistine Chapel, Caravaggio's Entombment of Christ, and Canova's Perseus Triumphant.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.