Movie lovers falling in love with new Paolo Sorrentino's series called “The Young Pope”, where Pio XIII alias Lenny Belardo played by Jude Law is drinking cherry Diet Coke, smoking cigars and trying to be papal version Daft Punk.
We decided to investigate the intro where pope is walking along art paintings and try to find titles and authors. Do you know all of them?
Here’s what we’ve found. But first lets’s take a look on the opening.
No spoilers but it seems that all this paintings are the key to the episodes’ plot.
1. Gerard van Honthorst, The Adoration of the Shepherds
Gerard van Honthorst was the boroque painter from Netherlands, a real celebrity of his times. He was inspired by the Carragvagio’s works what you can see on this painting - the characteristic thing is the light and colours used by van Honthorst. He’s famous because of the nocturnes, shadowed, dark scenes that he was painting. That’s why he’s called Gherardo della Notte. The Adoration of the Shepherds, is the part of the story of birth of Jesus, when local shepherds got the sign from an angel that in near Bethlehem the baby Jesus was born, so they arriving soon to honour him.
2. Pietro Perugino, Delivery of the Keys
Pietro Perugino was italian painter and drawer. His masters was Piero della Francesca iand Andrea del Verrocchio and he was the master of Rafael Santi. He was also Leonardo da Vinci’s friend. Perhaps, because of that and because of his great talent he was invited to join the painters of Sistine Chapel where he painted a few fresques, i.a. Delivery of the Keys, which is the best of them. This is a scene illustrated Christ giving the keys to His kingdom to St. Peter.
3. Caravaggio, Conversion on the Way to Damascus
This masterpiece of Carravagio from Santa Maria del Popolo church in Rome showing future apostle Paul on his way to Damascus. He fell on the road and heard the Lord say "I am Jesus, whom you persecute, arise and go into the city”. That was the moment of his conversion. What’s important in this painting is the play with the light. The old servant his hiding behind horse and he’s shadowed and only lying Paul is lighten. Look at the horse. How delicate and calm he is. He doesn’t want to hurt Paul so he’s rising slowly his leg and it looks that he the only one who knows whats happening.
4. The Council of Nicaea
July 4, 325, was a memorable day. About three hundred Christian bishops and deacons from the eastern half of the Roman Empire had come to Nicea, a little town near the Bosporus Straits flowing between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
In the conference hall where they waited was a table. On it lay an open copy of the Gospels.
The emperor, Constantine the Great, entered the hall in his imperial, jewel-encrusted, multicolored brocades, but out of respect for the Christian leaders, without his customary train of soldiers. Constantine spoke only briefly. He told the churchmen they had to come to some agreement on the crucial questions dividing them. “Division in the church,” he said, “is worse than war.”
5. Francisco Hayez, Peter the Hermit riding a white mule with a crucifix in his hand and circulating through the cities and villages preaching the Crusade
Francesco Hayez was one of the leading painters of XIX century,renowned for his romantic, grand historical paintings, political allegories and exceptionally fine portraits. But who was Peter the Hermit? He was a priest of Amiens and probably a key figure during the First Crusade. Some thinks that he had attempted to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem before 1096, but was prevented by the Seljuk Turks from reaching his goal and was reportedly mistreated. However, doubts remain that he ever made such a journey.
6. Gentile da Fabriano, St. Francis Receiving Stigmata or Stigmatization of St. Francis
Gentile da Fabriano was an influential, itinerant painter from the Italian Marches practising during the early Renaissance, who promulgated the International Gothic style in Venice, Florence, Rome, and throughout northern and central Italy. He is considered to be one of the great Old Masters of the Italian Renaissance whose style bridges the gap between Gothic painting and the new idiom which emerged in Florence during the early 15th century.
St. Francis Receiving Stigma is a classic, gothic iconographical presentation of St. Francis receiving stigma from the angel send directly by God. Yes, medieval people saw the angel, seraph to be precise as crossed teletubbies and pigeon. Fancy idea for tattoo.
7. Mateo Cerezo, St. Thomas of Villanueva Distributing Alms
St Thomas of Villanueva (1488 – 1555), an Augustinian friar who becameArchbishop of Valencia from 1544, was canonized in 1658, during the Spanish Counter Reformation. He was famous for his charitable works and is shown here giving alms to the poor. You can fns this painting in Louvre, Paris.
8. Domenico Cresti, Michelangelo Presenting the Model for the Completion of St Peter’s to Pope Pius IV
The first basilica of St. Peter’s was build by Constantin the Great right on the grave of the apostle. It was robbed by arab pirates in 846. After that pope Leo IV decided to build a wall around basilica. That was the beginning of the Vatical City. One of the builder of new basilica was Michelangelo.
9. François Dubois, The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre
After Ecyclopaedia Britanica: mssacre of Saint Bartholomew’s Day, (August 24/25, 1572), massacre of French Huguenots (Protestants) in Paris plotted by Catherine de Médicis and carried out by Roman Catholic nobles and other citizens. It was one event in the series of civil wars between Roman Catholics and Huguenots that beset France in the late 16th century.
10. Maurizio Cattelan, The 9th Hour
This sculpture is one of his most famous artworks of Cattelan. Presented pope John Paul II hit by ameteorite. One of the interpretation says that this is a metaphor of God himself assaulted the Church for its scandals and degradation of values. There is one courting thing about this work - it’s provocative and expensive. Sold by $ 3 mln.
11. Bonus - for patient and curious
If you wonder who's the author of "The Young Pope" opening music, here the answer. It's a young English artists James Devlin, known just as Devlin
He's famous song is 50 Grand ft. by Skepta