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The Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
NR     2002     6hr 50min

Originally produced in 1997 on the threshold of the Third Millennium of the Christian Era, and in celebration of the Jubilee of the Year of Our Lord 2000, THE VATICAN MUSEUMS was the culmination of three years of resear...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Special Interests, Educational
Sub-Genres: Art & Artists, Travel, Educational
Studio: Janson Media
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 10/01/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 6hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Welcome to the world's most spectacular repository of art, h
Stephen Pletko | London, Ontario, Canada | 02/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)


"The birth of the Vatican Museums is usually dated to the accession of Julius II to the Papal throne, though as private treasures of a prince, this first Vatican collection was rather different in nature."

The above are the printed words that begins this impressive set of DVDs that together have one purpose: to allow the viewer to see what's inside one of the world's most spectacular museums by taking him/her on a tour of each museum's highlights.

This documentary surveys the Vatican's artistic treasures through stunning location footage (and even archival footage!) with narration (accompanied by beautiful background music throughout that has the translated lyrics of Michelangelo).

The viewer feels as if he/she is walking through each museum's halls or flying over the outside buildings. The key point here is that the camera is always moving thus avoiding the static and boring feel of just looking at works of art that are just sitting there.

The narrator explains, amongst other things, the history of the artworks, how they came to be in a particular museum, and information is even given about the construction of each museum.

The variety of what's presented was, at least for me, overwhelming. The viewer will see and hear about such things as furniture, tapestries, costumes, and armour, as well as sculptures, busts, statues, paintings, portraits, mosaics, friezes, frescoes, artifacts, and much more.

The interior photography of buildings is exquisite and aerial photography that captures the unique architecture of the exterior of buildings is quite impressive.

Note that each disc is not one continuous showing but instead you select a chapter from the main menu, that chapter plays (most chapters are about 25 minutes long), then the disc reverts back to the main menu where you select a different chapter.

To give the potential viewer an idea of the vast amount presented, here are the chapter titles (five chapters per disc):

(1) History of the museums (2) Greek art in the Vatican museums (3) Roman art (4) The Egyptian museum (5) The Etruscan museum (6) The origins of Christian art (7) The Sistine chapter (8) The Raphael rooms and the Loggia (9) The historical museum at St. John Lateran (10) The Ethnological Museum (11) The picture gallery (12) The collection of modern religious art (13) The Apostolic palace (14) Vatican City (15) The Great Basilica

Finally, the DVDs themselves are perfect in picture and sound quality. However, in a few cases the lighting for the photography of some pictures was not optimal.

In conclusion, on the back of the DVD case it states that this documentary was the "culmination of three years research and filming" and involved a "crew of forty directors of photography" with the "collaboration of 32 scholars and historians from around the world." As a person who has viewed this amazing collection, I can attest that all this research, direction, and collaboration has produced a fantastic documentary to be admired!!

(1995, 1996, 1997; 6 hr, 40 min.; 15 chapters; 3 discs; full screen; no closed captioning or subtitles)

The Vatican Museums
Miriam Uriel | Givatayim, ISRAEL | 01/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought the DVD of "The Vatican Museums" as preparation to my visit there. I thought that I will learn from it, and be able to make a tour by myself without connection to a group and a guide. After my visit the DVD will remained me of all the things that I saw there.

The DVD is above all expectations. It show everything, and even details, and the explanation is excellent. Even people who doesn't familiar with all the history facts can learn and have a profound understanding of the Vatican and the people who contribute to its glory.

Although English is not my native tongue I could understand everything.

I recommend it to everybody, those who wants to visit the Vatican, or to be reminding of their visit, or those who want to learn and know what it's all about.

What happened to the color?
roderick | Western NY | 04/25/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Though infinitely sharper than the offerings by KULTUR, what happened to the color? Narration is wonderful, subject matter is glorious. Everthing about this release should be screaming five stars EXCEPT I felt I was looking at the marvels of the Vatican through a gauze curtain. WHERE IS THE BLESSED COLOR?"
Larry E. Ogden | maine | 11/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the best 3 set CDs I have ever purchased. If you can never get to Rome this 3 CD set will let you see almost everything."