Secrets of the Vatican Museums

April 29, 2021

A series of videos has been launched by the collaboration between the Vatican Museums and the Holy See’s news site, Vatican News. Its aim is to showcase the secrets of the collections exhibited to the public in the museums of the Leonine City.

This series is called Celata pulchritudo, two Latin words meaning “the hidden beauty.” The first episode was uploaded on April 20 by Vatican News.

The goal of this collaboration is to describe, in short videos, the art preserved in the Vatican Museums, including “the sources of inspiration of the great masters” such as Michelangelo or Raphael, “the fascination and the mystery of pre-Christian civilizations,” or “behind the scenes of the museum,” as well as “knowledge, research, conservation and restoration” transmitted through the centuries.

Each episode is broadcast in two versions: a long, more descriptive version, but which lasts only 5 minutes for the first episode; and a short version, intended for social media audiences, lasting 2 minutes for the same episode. The content is available on Vatican News and on Vatican social media profiles.

As Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication, remarks: “Even the best-known and most photographed works hide little-known details, curiosities, and aspects to be discovered: thanks to the help of those who study them, care for them, and restore and preserve them, we will try to bring as many people as possible closer to these treasures of beauty.”

The first episode is devoted to the “Belvedere Torso,” a work of Apollonius, dating back to the 1st century BC. A true mystery of art through its unfinished appearance. Its perfection gripped Renaissance artists, especially Michelangelo. The first video focuses on showing how this simple torso influenced the art of the Sistine Chapel painter.