MASTERPIECES of art are matter and spirit fused; thus they can have particular appeal to religious men. The Popes of Rome especially have been lovers of art, and in Renaissance times their power as temporal princes made it possible to amass art treasure on a grand scale. On public view at the Vatican, that treasure has become one of Rome's crowning glories.

The Renaissance Popes did not stick at theological points in art matters, but avidly built up one of the world's richest collections of classical religious works, both,Roman and Greek. More courageous was their patronage of living masters for the greater...

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