Mimmo Paladino, Sorgente, 2011, Vatican Museums

When I think about my first visit to the Vatican Museums, just two months ago, the word that immediately comes to mind is, in fact, MIND-BLOWING. Everything about it. The plethora of galleries and the vastness of space, the countless works of art and the massive scale of many of them, the history, the huge crowds, the gilt and marble. The very last galleries in the Vatican Museums that one encounters before entering the Sistene Chapel are those containing modern and contemporary religious art, a collection of some 800 works. In addition to numerous pieces by Henri Matisse, hundreds of artists are represented in these most serene spaces. They seemed to be the least considered by the throngs of visitors who passed them by, but for me, they were perfect and exactly what I was looking for in my cultural pilgrimage to Rome.