The Lilycove Museum
Genres: Slice of Life, Humor, Fluff, Friendship, and Romance
Genres: Slice of Life, Humor, Fluff, Friendship, and Romance
It’s been a while since Valen, Rosa, and Hilda have visited the Hoenn region, much less Hoenn’s most famous museum. They’ve brought along three first-timers too.
Turns out Hoenn has a surprise or two waiting for Valen and his inner coordinator.
Prefer light crit, would like to know if it stands on its own well.
This work is set in-between Identity and There's No Better Team.
I don't use nicknames because the longfics have big casts. There are no nicknames here either, but you don't really see the cast's Pokemon in this one.
If you're interested in looking up the real artists that are referenced, use the lone name they're referred to as for a search. For these Pokémon world counterparts, I keep the name they're most known by/referred to as and change the rest. The changes can range from very similar names to completely different names. (There is one artist name that isn't a reference in here)
EX: For Michelangelo Buonarroti, the name Michelangelo remains for this headcanon's version.
Hoenn's an island region where the art and culture of the Far East interlocks with the West, and this is most prevalent with their crown jewel: Lilycove City. Once a small outpost village called Minamo, it's now a hotbed for the arts, entertainment and tourism. It has earned entrance into a prestigious group of vibrant urban centers standing shoulder to shoulder alongside the likes of Kalos' Lumiose City, Unova's Nimbasa City, Raguila's Florentine City, and Calvana's Angel City.
It overlooks the shoreline, creating a beautiful panoramic that can leave anyone in awe. The beaches are jam backed with people and Pokémon, both locals and tourists. Its modern skyscrapers and traditional pagodas poke the sky and create a synchronized display of prosperity. A giant digital screen airs a live interview with Wallace and his parents, and the building its attached to is a skyscraper that resembles a Milotic towering out of the sea. The reporter calling Wallace's family "the Medici of Hoenn" isn't a stretch to the locals—their influence is most upfront in Lilycove City. Across the intersection, a skyscraper finished in Jazz Age blue displays a billboard with Lisia and her Altaria. Champion Zinnia and her Salamence are to the right of the contest superstars.
Fittingly, the Lilycove Contest Hall is about a five-minute walk from that eye-catching Milotic structure and its brightly colored companions. The hall, the Lilycove Museum and the Lilycove Theatre create a trio of cream-colored buildings that stick out thanks to the elegant, classical-like designs. It's no coincidence that all three are on Sunrise Avenue, the beating heart of Lilycove City's tourism and entertainment industries.
Outside of the hall, a young man with slightly messy black hair interacts with the people surrounding him. The sunlight illuminates the Team Skull logo on the back of his black jacket. He thought he'd be at the museum by now, but people actually recognize him?
It's been a little while since Valentinus, Valen for short, has been on the contest stage. A few pro battling circuit fans are amongst the group, but his fanbase in Hoenn is mostly due to his contest successes. He was born and raised in Calvana, but Hoenn was the birthplace of his contest career.
Behind him, his Gardevoir leans up against one of building's massive columns with her arms folded, her gaze resembling that of a proud mother or big sis. Next to her is a his happily grinning Salamence, who probably wishes the bouncy ball was here.
Valen gestures towards one of his friends, whom has also been surrounded by people. She's got her sunglasses on and she's confidently tipping her dark pink hat. She gives him two thumbs up and tilts her head towards the contest hall. Is she trying to tell him something?
Probably, for Serena's been very vocal about her desire to see him back on the contest stage. Serena, Jolteon and her Delphox kicked butt. took home the first place ribbon and trophy. It really does makes him want to get back on the stage as soon as possible.
"It's hard because a gentleman can't say no to a lady," Valen remarks towards his Gardevoir and Salamence. "Eh, the answer will come to me eventually."
Across the street, a majestic Kyogre fountain looms large over those outside of the museum. It's crystalline, clear water exits at a leisurely place. People walking into and outside the museum pass by the giant columns that line the exterior, but a number have stopped near the fountain. In front of it, two young women stand-back-to-back and make sideways peace signs. The former, who's holding a phone, dons a white and blue top with black leggings. Her friend's rocking her trademark black waistcoat draped over a white top.
Rosa and Hilda are known to radiant energy like a pair of playful Glaceon, which releases a magnetic pull that beckons onlookers. Flashes repeat in rapid succession as Rosa snaps photos in front of the museum. Not wanting to be left out, Hilda reaches into right pocket of her denim shorts for her own phone. It's time for a short video to motivate everybody.
"I know you wanna be a master!" Rosa winks with her right eye. "I know you wanna show your skills!"
"I know you wanna get their faster!" Hilda winks with her left eye. "I know you can reach the top of that hill!"
"Each time you try, you'll get a little bit better!" They switch positions. "Each step you climb is one more step up the ladder!" They high five each other. "Free smile giveaway complete!"
Hilda and Rosa race to see who can upload faster, but the former notices that their boyfriend's approaching with his Gardevoir and Salamence. He's trying look all cool with his hands in the pockets of his black pants, but he knows he can't hide what a softie he is.
"Uh…sorry about that." Valen sheepishly smiles and scratches the back of his head. "Eh heh heh…I…uh…didn't expect to be swamped by people who recognize me."
"It's kay, Valey." Rosa closes her eyes and clasps her palms. "Tee-hee, it's more than okay!" She beams the cute grin he adores. "It means that your fans outside of Calvana are loyal too'" She caresses his right cheek and kisses him on the lips. "Don't worry and be happy, kay?"
"It was an awesome sight, Val-Val!" Hilda also kisses him and clasps her palms. "And to be fair, it was Lisia who scouted you years ago!" Same grin and hand gesture, plus her signature jumping. "Don't underestimate the power of Expert Trainer Hilda's beloved!"
Hilda's got a point, the trainers scouted by Lisia usually do gain a following in her home region. Not to mention they first met in Slateport City, the site where many coordinators abroad announce their presence with a grandeur display of artistic proficiency.
Gardevoir rubs his shoulders and gives him a peck on the top of his head. Salamence nudges his left hand, so he begins to pet the flying puppy.
Serena's singsong catches their attention, and next to her is Calem. Heh, feels like Calem finally got Serena to concede that his blue jacket and red cap are pretty cool.
Calem and Valen fist bump, with the ladies joining in while Serena slides an arm around his neck. Lisia scouted her around the same time, but that was before they met.
"You can't hide it," Calem says while lifting up his sunglasses. "I saw how focused you were on her performance."
"I saw that gleam in your eyes before Calem did," Serena teases, laughing over Calem rolling his eyes. "Did my amazing and stylish performance light your flames of passion?"
"That it did." Valen rubs Serena's back. "You were stupendous." He shares a smirk with Gardevoir and Salamence.
"Oh, like I needed to hear the obvious." Serena laughs and waves a hand. "But thank you."
Before Valen can ask where Melanie is, she comes into view from behind Serena and Calem. She runs her hand through her long, black hair and shows off her red blazer jacket.
"Finally came out of the fashion boutique, eh Melanie?" Valen earns himself a forehead flick. "Did Serena finally best you?"
"She's still my rival in style." Melanie points to her black top and boots, which are the exact same ones that Serena's wearing. "Talk about a coincidence, am I right?"
"There aren't many people who can match me, the magnificent Serena Yvette Verochka Nikolaev." Serena runs a hand through her honey-colored hair. "Yes, stating my full name is still necessary."
"Never change, Serena," Calem teases, shaking his head. "Never change."
"Now then, onto a serious matter." Melanie jumps onto Valen's back. "Thought you could start without us?" Serena and her exchange a high five. "Not a chance!"
Gardevoir gives him another peck, then he recalls Salamence and her. Pokémon are usually not allowed outside of their Poké Balls in a place like the Lilycove Museum, but the five of them can always show their Pokémon painting prints and photographic reproductions.
Ah, the simplified elegance of the lobby and its furniture. A pristine cream-colored walls and a polished marble floor, just like he remembers. A giant collection of Western art lies inside of these walls, the painting selection being the largest in this part of the globe. Traditional art is nicely represented too, the collection being the largest in all of Hoenn.
When visiting large museums, it's best to be selective with what you take a closer look at. That doesn't mean they'll ignore everything else—they always try to acknowledge each and every piece they see in a place like this.
It doesn't take long for Rosa and Hilda to yank Valen out of his apparent trance.
"The crowd's a juggernaut, no surprise there," he remarks. "But why'd you grab me?"
In response, Rosa and Hilda laugh and wink. Seems like that'll be the only answers he'll get, but never cease to feel fuzzy when these two act adorable. There's even a bonus—people of all ages and walks of life joining forces to admire art is a lovely sight.
The Western paintings on display are organized by century. Visitors are first welcomed by Battle of the Beasts, a fourteenth-century painting by Pinaccio Lorenzetti. A thirteenth-century painting by Giotto di Buonacorsus, Clash of Nature, is located across from it. They're excellent works that double as sneak peaks for the Renaissance works of the fifteenth and sixteenth-centuries.
Both the Lorenzetti and the Giotto depict the clash between Kyogre and Groudon on gold foil and wood. Giotto uses lines hidden in the waves of the thundering sea, the gray sky, and atop the mighty mountains, to draw the viewer's attention towards the duo. Rayquaza's smack dab in the middle of the intersection. Intense sunlight crosses paths with heavy rain, the two abruptly stopping where Rayquaza is.
While Giotto utilized a naturalistic, realistic aesthetic, Lorenzetti went for a fantastical presentation. Raging volcanos and the turbulent ocean encircle Kyogre and Groudon. They're duking it out like two ancient warriors on the battlefield. The sky's filled with a contrast of brutal sunlight and punishing rain that obstructs the viewer's ability to see Rayquaza in the background.
"The Glaceon are waiting for us." Hilda tries to pull Rosa along but ends up getting pulled by her instead. "Hehe, you win."
"You two are something else," Valen remarks while rubbing their backs. "But that's why everything you do is amazing."
You'll have to wait your turn, Mantegna. Pardon the delay, Ghirlandaio. The balls of fluff have decreed that a contemporary of yours will be first.
Salvator Botticelli's Adoration of the Glaceon has eight of the aforementioned Pokémon standing on their hind legs. Their eyes are closed and their grinning hang open. Each Glaceon has their front paws up at a different angle than the other seven. Fruits and other edibles await them in baskets next to a collection of toy hoops.
For several centuries, Eevee and its evolutions were believed to bring great joy and prosperity to those who accommodated their desires of food and playtime. To be fair, they weren't wrong about the former. Whenever he visited Uncle Marcel and Aunt Cassandra, he loved to play with their adorable Glaceon. Adult him would play with that Glaceon as much as kid him did.
Botticelli's The Birth of Mega Rayquaza has Calem and Serena hooked. Despite the turbulent event that inspired it, there's a sense of calmness to the work. Perhaps it's because the mighty Rayquaza's guarding this ultramarine sky and the unseen land?
Melanie's trying to contain herself from jotting down writing ideas spurred by Prospero Perugino's Annunciation of the Royal Marriage. One of her favorite novels is a historical fiction work based on this painting's subject: the matrimony between Giorgio de' Medici and Princess Angella Calandrini.
"How would you write it?" Calem asks her.
"From the artist's perspective of course," Melanie answers and points towards the work's two main people. "And from both of their perspectives."
"I like that," Valen adds.
A couple around the age of him and the balls of fluff interlock their fingers while gazing at Perugino's The Calming Kiss. It's a glorious capture of Xerneas kissing Yveltal's head as the latter rests atop a grassy field. Yveltal's got the faintest of smiles, where's Xerneas' expression indicates she's pondering what she's learned. Yveltal's hidden soft spot for her took her by surprise but she's also sporting a more noticeable smile.
Intimacy between Xerneas and Yveltal was a favorite among Renaissance artists. The most famous depictions are Botticelli's Xerneas et la Primavera and Raphael's A Kiss Infused With Geomancy, located back home in the Calvanian Museum of Art.
"People better not sleep on Perugino," Rosa remarks. "He's one of the greatest artists of the era."
"You don't say?" Valen blocks Rosa's cheek tap. "Nice try."
"Don't test your luck, silly."
The Northern Renaissance paintings are across the aisle. A young boy and his teenage sister want to play with the Eevee and its evolutions in Perceval Bruegel's The Eevee Festival. It's similar to Bruegel's The Eevee Dance, which resides back home in the Calvanian Museum of Art. Both are equal to Rosa and Hilda's silliness in terms of cuteness—how can you not smile at a bunch of these Pokémon partying it up with villagers and their Pokémon?
The Ragulian Renaissance side also contains the most famous painting in the museum. It always draws a crowd, but there's still enough room to get a look at it.
"And there it is," Hilda remarks with her palms folded. "Leonardo da Vinti's Portrait of a Milotic."
The serpentine raises its body above the tranquil river in a coil formation. The water and the rocky bank is so crisp and vivid, with not even the smallest detail left out. Their transition into the grassland is without any endpoints, as if they're one. In the distance, hazy mountain peaks melt into a vibrant sky that's enshrouded in a misty cloak.
"This painting made me more determined to have a Milotic of my own," Rosa reminisces. "The allure of art's incredible, isn't it?"
"Indeed." Valen's eyes line up with Milotic's eyes. "It's easy to see why Leonardo played a major role in Milotic's association with grace and beauty."
In stark contrast of the Leonardo's mimetic harmony is Gerhart Grünewald's Darkness, which has captured Melanie's attention. Grünewald's style is best exemplified by a grim and intense presentation. An agonized Latias mourning the loss of a Latios within the remains of a forest. Even the clouds weep in this bleak, tormented atmosphere, their tears surrounding the duo of dragons as they drip upon the few lifeless trees.
Encircling them are eight different Pokémon: Kabutops, Clefable, Chansey, Blissey, Furret, Gardevoir, Sylveon, and Obstagoon. There's also an Aerodactyl hovering above. Their faces are ominously devoid of all emotion and life, their faded colors contrasting the bolder colors of Latios and Latias. Their zombie-like gazes merely give a quick glance as they pass the dragons.
Rosa furrows her brow. "From day one, I found this painting to be both spooky and intriguing." She points with her right index finger and her thumb sticking out. "Super Detective Rosa can't figure out why Grünewald preferred a medieval-like style."
"I thought Val-Val was the analyzer of art in this vee relationship," Hilda jokes and taps the back of Rosa's head. "Hehe, you better behave."
"It's even stranger considered who was the leading painter of the Ziegler region." Valen glances towards Leonardo's Portrait of a Milotic. "I consider Adalbert Dürer to be the 'Zieglerian Leonardo.'"
Rosa's one of countless painters who've used Dürer's prints for models. In her case, she tends to use photos of originals within the pages of books and the reproduction prints on display in the house.
"Focus on the paintings." Melanie flicks Valen's forehead with both hands.
"Why'd you flick only me?" Valen earns himself another flick, to which he shrugs. "Acceptable answer, I suppose."
Dürer's Pokémon Heroes greets the viewer with a excellent naturalistic aesthetic. His version's set on the outskirts of Altomare City. One of the city's iconic canals ripples to life as Latios and Latias hover and zoom out of the city a high velocity. A giant Aerodactyl and Kabutops give chase, but who said the two dragons are fleeing? They're swerving like race cars and are about to blast the fossil Pokémon far away from the city with Luster Purge and Mist Ball."
Hilda's now enthralled by Titian Vercelli's The Birth of Arceus, while Rosa's making her trademark thinking face at Pierre Fouquet's Madonna and Mew. Did Champion Jeanne Lesassier really befriend a Mew? Is Rosa imagining herself as a Renaissance princess wearing that elegant outfit?
Melanie and Serena are right next to him, their attention having been drawn to Portrait of Sir William Guttersworth by Heinrich Holbein the Younger. The dapper gentleman and his Metagross challenge the viewer with their stern glares. Sir Guttersworth was the first person of note to commission a portrait from the Zieglerian artist after the latter's arrival in Galar.
"Join me, Val-Val."
"Ask and you shall receive, Hilda."
The Birth of Arceus is one of the paintings that his mom has a reproduction of back home, so it's extra nostalgic to see the original again. Creation tales vastly differ from culture to culture, but multiple tales state that Arceus was born into a void. Thanks to Altomare City's massive trading enterprise, it's likely that Titian heard more than one version of the tale. Ceramics with artwork of said tales would've likely be seen the artistic giant too.
Titian used just four colors for The Birth of Arceus, but he used two different shades of yellow ochre. The darker shade looks almost like gold, and it's weaved in into the mars black background. The lighter shade joins the lead white, Altomarian red, and malachite on Arceus' body. The gray on Arceus' body is the end result of lead white mixed with mars black.
"Get your butt over here or I'll bop you with my feet."
Oh yeah, because Rosa's feet bops are just so terrifying. Ahhhhhh, whatever will he do?
Rosa's winsomeness departs and her "serious" countenance arrives to say hello to Michelangelo's Separation of Land and Sea. This is one of the many scenes Michelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Hall—several prominent Pokémon Trainers wanted their favorites to be painted on separate panels for private display.
Many works featuring Kyogre and Groudon have Kyogre on the left and Groudon on the right. Michelangelo's take reversed that, plus it doesn't show the full bodies. Half of Kyogre's body submerged in the sea and there's a close-up of of the sea titan's face and Groudon's top half at the center of the panel. The behemoth who carved the planet into landmasses stands atop a rocky terrain finished in vermillion, the ultramarine sea blasting into it with sheer force that would startle most other Pokémon.
Giotto, Lorenzetti, and Michelangelo painted the clash between Kyogre and Groudon in beautiful ways, but what happens when a painter of equal caliber brought Kyogre and Groudon closer to us by "humanizing" them? What if they expressed the same emotions we feel and see?
Right of Michelangelo's painting lies such a work, courtesy of Raphael Sadoletto da Urbina. A Shared Home stunned everybody when it was unveiled—it's a grand twist on the equipoise between the titans of the land, sea, and sky.
Kyogre and Groudon are staring at each other with sorrowful expressions, their positions reversed like in Michelangelo's presentation. Kyogre's mouth is open like it's speaking, while Groudon keeps quiet and hears Kyogre out. Rayquaza watches in the distance, puzzled by this turn of events. Should it continue towards them, or should it pull back?
He can imagine the words coming out of Kyogre's mouth: "Tell me what are we fighting for? We've got to end this war."
One landmass barely escapes being swallowed up by the sea, while another landmass has a barely flowing river. Trees have been uprooted and toppled around like dominos, the sea having claimed them for itself. There's no sign of life beyond the three titans—all that surrounds then is a cloak of remorse and confusion.
Rosa grabs Valen's right hand and interlocks her fingers with his fingers. "Fitting, isn't it?" She directs a loving gaze towards him. "Raphael introduced me to the world of art, which brought my favorite boy into my life too." She giggles, giving him a cute grin and wink. "Make sure you write a super biased biography about me filled with your love, kay?"
Valen sneaks a kiss onto her left hand. "I can't say no to a lady like you." He does the same to Hilda. "Or you."
"Hehe, you're such a gentleman." Hilda places a hand in front of her silly grin. "Even when you're dressed like a bad boy."
A true gentleman shows kindness and courtesy to all, but what happens when one loses their heart to darkness? What happens when somebody who loses their humanity to the folly of conflict?
The answer lies to the left of A Shared Home. Raphael's Floette Mourns the Fallen is one of the most heart-wrenching works in Renaissance art. Case in point: two big, burly men are trying to hide that they got hit in the feels. Two women dressed in punk rock outfits can see right through their facade.
In this painting, Floette has just been revived and the first sight she sees are injured people and Pokémon are being carried away. At least they're alive—multiple others weren't so lucky. Her eyes are shut and tears flood her face. Her mouth's contorted to release an agonized wail. If that wasn't enough, her beloved human has become a tyrant. Look into his despondent eyes as he orders his soldiers to march. If they don't, they'll end up among the slain. His nasty scowl brims with rage and insanity. No respect for the fallen, no regard for the wounded. AZ's previous self may as well be among the fallen—the corruption of his character is complete.
There aren't many Paldean paintings in the Lilycove Museum—Melanie's eyeing the only one present in this section. Aftermath of the Calamity is among the most famous works by Elias Greco, better known as El Greco. It's a busy rendition of Floette leaving AZ over the devastation he's brought upon the land. The bodies contort in exaggerated ways and the limbs are unrealistically longer, two major elements of Mannerism.
Serena's dragging Calem towards Alfonso Correggio's Adoration of the Leafeon. Did she become enamored with the painting due to the tranquility of the lush forest? Is it because all eight Leafeon are eager to play with the villagers? It it because the setting's a crystal clear rendition of Santalune Forest, her favorite camping location? Regardless of the reason, she's got good taste.
Valen and the others are now in the aisle containing the seventeenth-century paintings. Rosa and Hilda beat him to it, while Melanie, Calem, and Serena have just entered. Rosa's darted off to the paintings of the low regions—she wants to see Sir Arnold van Dyck's Portrait of the Prince's Ralts. Hilda beats Rosa to the paintings from the Vlaander region, specifically the room dedicated to van Dyck and his teacher.
Hilda's been drawn in by Sir Patrick Pierre Rubens' Distorted Landscape and Portrait of a Garchomp. As for Melanie, she's got a fondness for Jasper Vermeer. What art lover doesn't have a fondness for Vermeer? There's only one work by him here, Woman with a Kirlia, but Vermeer's output wasn't high to begin with.
The quaint and silent interior of the Vermeer matches well with the painting to the right of it, Sleeping Lillipup. Interiors was a specialty of Solomon Hoogstraten. The door's fully open, inviting the viewer to enter the modest bedroom and pet the puppy.
Oh yeah, Caravaggio. Off to the Ragulian paintings he goes. He's gotta see The Martyrdom of Latios and The Forgiveness of Latias by Marcantonio Matteo da Caravaggio, the master of raw drama in painting. Fittingly, the models used came from Dürer's prints.
Latios lies injured on the ground, an angry and somber acceptance of his face gleaming from his eyes. The massive trio of Aerodactyl are mere moments away from their own demise—Latios has already conjured up a tsunami via blasting the sea with Luster Purge. No background as per usual, just complete darkness with all the light shining on the four Pokémon and the massive wave.
Can anyone see this and not feel that Latios is speaking to the viewer via telepathy? Probably not, at least in his case.
"I'm taking them to the underworld with me."
To the right of that work is The Forgiveness of Latias. This work shows the aforementioned Pokémon locked in an embrace with her trainer, Champion Icarus, who fought valiantly to save Latios. Tears from the man's eyes are frozen in mid-air, like time itself as stopped. Nobody else is present, the souls who lost a Pokémon dear to them surrounded by darkness.
Just like Latios, it's like Valen can hear these two speak.
"I've failed! I couldn't save him!"
"It's not your fault, Icarus."
Like the Grünewald and Dürer paintings, these works are based on Heroes, a Siscian epic poem written by Vopiscus. The difference in presentation is stark—Caravaggio's style was to have the scenes to be all up in people's faces.
Caravaggio plows through the barrier called personal space, then it strikes your emotions with raw drama. His work makes you a witness to the scene, it'll place you directly in front of titanic Pokémon that created the world and universe that you live in. If you've seen such a Pokémon before, a Caravaggio will re-create a similar experience in your mind.
"So this is what you call 'turning painting into theatre.'" Calem cocks a brow and lifts up his cap. "Impressive, it's like somebody paused the movie."
"It challenges people to look away, but it's a challenge people usually lose."
"I bet Calem's going to cry again." Serena nudges him with her elbow. "Remember The Battle of Geosenge?"
"Lay off, Serena." Calem rolls his eyes.
"I second that," Valen adds. "That painting was brutal to the feels."
Rosa approaches with her hands clasped behind her back. "I'd love to usher in a a new generation of Caravaggisti, but she also wants to be like Raphael and Rembrandt." She grins and closes her eyes. "Guess I'll have to be like all three, hmmm?"
She can pull that off no problem, Valen thinks. Raphael was the first painter she extensively studied, followed by Caravaggio and Rembrandt. Caravaggio was the first painter he learned about and through him, plus Titian, Rosa and him developed a childhood friendship.
His attention is now directed towards a portrait of a dapper gentleman, a Charizard, and a Lucario. It may not seem like a rarity but there's more than meets the eye—this painting doubles as a self-portrait of Gianluigi Bernini.
Valen's eyes are locked in a staring contest with this titanic Baroque sculptor, whose black hair and outfit somewhat blends in with the opaque background. He was gifted at painting but doesn't end there—Bernini was a playwright, actor, performance battler, a designer of decorative arts, and scenographer.
When he first saw this portrait in person, it was right after Lisia had scouted him. Perhaps seeing it, plus the Bernini sculpture that's also housed here, will help to clear his mind. Art has always been place where he can escape to and ponder, it's where he can delve into for inspiration.
Rosa and Hilda grab his arms and drag Valen towards the Rembrandt aisle. He was going to head on over there sooner or later, but what can he do? These two are far too powerful.
Banette's Watching, Jellicent's Loot, and The Possessed Umbreon would probably spook Silver if he were here. Valen's favorite among the three is Banette's Watching, a work from about 1636. Genre painting, the depiction of everyday life, was big in Baroque era Alkmaardam. Rembrandt took that and added an unnerving twist to it.
Most of the picture is taken up by a modest room with lavish furniture and ceramics. Three people playing music together and a fourth reading the lyrics. The medium-sized window behind the man holding a harp is obstructed by Rembrandt's signature chiaroscuro. Rembrandt used the dark brown background to cloak the Banette—the piercing stare of its glowing eyes and the long, twisted grin are the only elements fully visible.
"Most people tend to ask why is the Banette creeping outside like that, but nobody can give a concrete answer." Valen crosses his arms. "Gotta love a good mystery."
The same technique is turned up to eleven to mask the beachside graveyard of commercial ships that the male and female Jellicent have claimed for themselves. They're less obstructed because the light's only focused on them. They eerily stare deep into his soul, surrounded by gold and other valuable objects.
Hilda's Umbreon is adorable and a good girlfriend for his Luxray, but this snarling Umbreon has glowing eyes and horrifyingly sharp fangs. The right half of its body is obstructed by the deadly grip of darkness and the left half is where most of the light focuses on. A decrepit barn can also be seen in the background, surrounded by withered foliage.
Portraits, history painting, mythological paintings, landscapes, scaring the toughest people, Rembrandt van Remis could and did do it all. The five trainer portraits in the museum's collection seem to beckon Melanie.
"Which one's your favorite?"
Melanie tilts her towards Champion Jan Helst. The Dragon-type master dons a lavish green garment and a black musketeer hat. His Dragonite towers behind him, its head lowered to meet the viewer's gaze. His Salamence and Flygon peep in from the left and right respectively.
Rosa and Hilda's gazes have been captured by Rembrandt's Lugia's Stormy Sea. Perhaps the seafarers shouldn't have angered a Pokémon that can easily blow a giant ship across the sea into the Osiris region. A personal favorite detail of his is the fact that Rembrandt made the Lugia's gaze line up with the pharaoh's stern glare.
A similar painting back home in the Calvanian Museum of Art, Domingo Velazquez's Lugia Above the Depths, was painted in the same year. Sir Patrick Peter Rubens painted Lugia's Wrath a year prior. Must be a coincidence.
Classical antiquity and the Renaissance pokes its head into the Baroque through three of Neville Poussin's paintings. Valen's favorite among them is Wish Maker Jirachi.
The colors are sober and vibrant, the sunlight fusing with it to form a harmonic presentation. A remarkable display of symmetry rounds it out—Jirachi floats about a river in the center at the midpoint. People and Pokémon have gathered around, hoping the Mythical Pokémon deems them worthy of granting a wish. A mountain range lines the background and Dialga can be seen atop the tallest mountain, which is also located in the middle.
Melanie and Calem are conversing about checking out the illuminated manuscripts, but he knows Melanie's silently eager to see paintings by Victor van Gogh, Caldre Monet, and Pierre Cezanne. Twenty seven by the former and twenty four by the latter two call this museum home.
Time to head on over to the eighteenth-century paintings to analyze works by Jean-Jacques David and other personal favorites.
Kalos makes up a sizable portion of this section, hence why Serena's come along for the ride. Ragulia and Galar aren't far behind. Early nineteenth-century paintings are right next door to accommodate for artists like David. He'll pop in there before going to the ancient art—the museum's got an excellent array of Conrad Derrick Friedrich's landscapes.
Five of Jean-Jacques David's paintings are here and his personal favorite among them is also the largest one. The leaders of the coup against AZ are the stars of David's The Oath of the Three Generals. Adonis, Cyrillus and Tecton. The three men have their right arms extended out front. Adonis' fingers are locked around the handle of a bronze xiphos, Cyrillus obstructs his face with a bronze shield, and Tecton commanding Pangoro, Talonflame, and Hitmonchan to move forward.
Five landscapes by Paul Horace Valenciennes lie nearby. The composition's a formula of just two or three elements, but the end results are lovely. His work can be composed of just nature and a blue sky, or it can have structures alongside those two. One to two lone structure to a small town or ruins is the name of the game when there's architecture present.
Among these five, his personal favorite Valenciennes is the depiction of Camphrier Town from 1775. One hundred and ninety seven years later, his mother was born there.
In contrast to the simplified and sober elegance of the Neoclassical movement is the excess and extravagance of the Rococo. Two big names from Kalosian Rococo, Jacques Watteau and Jean-Louis Chardin, have captured Hilda and Serena's attention. The former's entranced by Watteau's Gathering of Pokémon, which is basically a bunch of Pokémon partying it up in the vibrant grass outside of Parfum Palace.
"Do you think my Umbreon and your Luxray can ballroom dance like that Tsareena and Sceptile, hm?"
"Gimme a break, Hilda. Luxray's both an edgelord and a smooth operator."
Both Hilda and Serena Chardin's still-life paintings, the objects ranging from fruits to instruments. There's even one depicting baby Eevee excited about the food surrounding it. He'll get a couple prints of Chardin paintings for Hilda's gaming room and for Serena's birthday. He'll have to be sneaky if he wants to pay everything.
Rosa's confident smile and posture suggests that she's imagining herself in the extravagant Rococo gown worn by Queen Amélie in Marie Vachon Le Brun's portrait. This famous court painter represents both Rococo and Neoclassicalism, and it just so happens that she painted the queen standing with a similar posture.
"I can get you another one of those reproduction gowns if you want."
"Tsk tsk tsk, you shouldn't use Mind Reader like that." Rosa winks, faintly giggling. "We'll discuss that later, kay?"
"I'm getting both of you one each regardless."
"I'm not letting you pay everything, you silly boy." Rosa kisses his right cheek. "Got it?"
"Are you serious, Rosa?" Serena rests her hands on her hips. "You'd look AMAZING in that, plus it's super sweet of him to offer."
"Heeeey, focus." Hilda titters. "Looks like Gianni Canaletto and Fiorello Guardi are super duper busy." She points towards the large crowd surrounding the Ragulian Rococo section. "Good thing you brought along a giant tome on all the museum's paintings, Val-Val."
Valen smirks and taps his forehead. "Can't miss anything if you've got books on everything."
Near Canaletto and Guardi is a lesser known painter nowadays: Giorgio Pannini. His works often contain beautiful renditions of architecture and interior design. The four in this museum all carry a similar motif: musical performances inside classical architecture, be it ancient ruins or the Renaissance.
Girolamo Tiepolo makes an appearance in the museum via Avenging Latios. Another take on the epic, but this one strikes you with excess riches that the tyrant has plundered from the lands he has trampled upon. Latias and Icarus are leading a formation of soldiers into the palace, the guards choosing to flee instead of risking their skin.
Serena's sticking with Kalosian works and Hilda's studying works from Galar. Rosa's chilling with a Paldean painter, Felipe Goya. He isn't sure which one to choose, but here comes Hilda to the rescue.
Hilda grabs his right hand and takes a moment to stare into his eyes. Years ago, she showed him a notebook with Theodore Gainsborough's My Bidoof Friend on the front and A Pair of Lillipup on the back. She gets to see the originals of these famous works again. Seeing her adorable grin makes him want to grin too.
To be fair, these two works can even make Silver grin. Look at that Bidoof living it up with jewelry and ornate ceramics surrounding it. He's even got a Kirlia girlfriend. As for the puppies, they look like they're about to leap out and try to play with everybody.
James Wright of Hulbury is represented through Researching the Behavior of Glaceon and The Search for a Mew. The darkened background of both works, a hallmark of the artist's works, is highly reminiscent of Caravaggio's tenebrism.
The first work always gets a chuckle out of him. The bewildered scientist is trying to write notes while the Glaceon demands he plays with it always. The Glaceon even has its eyes narrowed, giving off a vibe of annoyance. It keeps trying to push away the pencil with one paw. The other paw's being used to block the scientist from grabbing anything else.
"Didn't you once run into a door because you had this work on your mind?"
"Shut up, Val-Val." Hilda taps his right cheek. "You're such a goofball."
The second work is based off of historical accounts of, and by, Sir Aaron Loudain. He was a thirteenth-century noble who went in search of Mew with his Alakazam and Lucario. Wright has him sitting in a room, his eyes following the inscriptions on an Ancient Osirian stele. His Alakazam provide invaluable assistance in deciphering the text. A second stele of Horus II with a Talonflame, Corviknight and a lotus flower lies on a trestle table and Lucario's gazing at it. It's an indicator that this relief is related to the Ancient Osirian creation myth. The Talonflame and Corviknight, said to be the size of Eternatus, are the embodiment of the sun and the moon.
Rosa's turn to yank him along has arrived, except she's already doing it. Guess he's off to the Goya paintings.
"Seeing Yveltal Mourns With Xerneas and Pokémon Battle in a Village next to each other is like a contrast of chaos and peace," Rosa comments. "Perhaps that's why Goya painted them back-to-back in 1797."
The latter has a lively crowd under a clear sky and a row of buildings looms in the distance. The villagers have come out to see a battle between a Charizard and a Blastoise owned by a male and female trainer respectively.
The former has no life beyond the two Legendary Pokémon under a gloomy black sky. The buildings have been reduced to rubble and the trees have Xerneas buries her head in Yveltal's right wing, withered flowers scattered around her feet. Tears drip from Yveltal's eyes as he surveys the wasteland, his other wing gently wrapped around Xerneas.
"This one always hits people in the feels," Rosa says. "Not even Gladion could contain himself."
"Remember when we first learned about Goya?" Valen asks. "You tried to pull me under the bed because Gigantamax Grimmsnarl spooked you."
"Fineeee, I'll give you that one." Rosa closes her eyes and folds her palms. "We have lots of great stories to tell."
The squad's gone further back in time, or at least it sure feels that way. This section of the museum is home to ceramics, steles, statues, paintings, and other pieces that range from prehistoric times to the birth of the Ishtarian Empire, so about 600 to 650 CE.
The museum has the world's largest collection of Neolithic Draconid and Draconid Empire art. Reading about the Draconids as a kid furthered his desire to tame a Salamence. He didn't expect that Salamence would act like a puppy and want to play fetch, even after he took down Red's Charizard a few years ago.
"Heeey, snap out of it." Hilda titters. "What are you going to analyze this time, hm?"
"I'll check out this treasure trove," Valen responds. "Which one will you two check out first?"
"I'll be where the Ancient Osirian art is, sweetie." Rosa places a hand on her hip and makes a peace sign. "Because I'm as epic as a female pharaoh."
"Etrusk art for me," Hilda tilts her head, her right fingertips over silly grin. "Let's all go to the sculptures afterwards."
Rosa and Hilda try to make him blush with a cheek kiss each, then they take off.
Serena's already grabbed Calem and taken off towards the decorative arts of later centuries, plus the Far Eastern paintings and Hoenn calligraphy art. That leaves him with Melanie, but he'll never complain about that. Why she didn't say anything is beyond him, but he'll just get a forehead flick if he asks.
"Guess it's just us two for now." Melanie grins and winks. "There's no escape."
"Wouldn't have it any other way." Valen strokes her long, black hair. "But you still nag about fashion too much."
"I'm the fashion queen of the squad—I have to make sure everybody's stylish."
"Ah, but it was Hilda who suggested the suit for my trainer and coordinator careers."
"I beat her to the punch in my mind." Melanie rests her hands on her hips. "But I'll concede that Hilda and Rosa rock casual clothes as well as yours truly."
"Fair." Valen pretends that he's adjusting a tie. "When a lady like you is around a gentlemen, he has to present himself accordingly."
"Says the guy dressed like a bad boy." Melanie chuckles and rubs his Team Skull jacket. "You look awesome in it."
Valen pulls her in for a side hug and she wraps her arms around his neck. After a few moments, they let go and get down to business.
The two of them direct their attention towards the largest stele, which is the size of fully grown Rhyperior. A crown jewel of the empire during its heyday, this stele's got a relief of Rayquaza commanding an army of Latios, Latias, Salamence, Flygon, and Altaria to protect the land from a meteor shower.
Surrounding it are steles inscribed with Draconid folktales, both written and visual. A common motif of these folktales are brave warriors that Rayquaza selected to tame the most ferocious Pokémon in the land. The wall paintings nearby depict these same tales, the largest one depicting Rayquaza literally summoning a Salamence to test one of these warriors. The stone architecture near Meteor Falls can be seen in the background, including the giant shrine built in honor of Rayquaza.
They turn their attention to the second stele, which is size of a Weavile. The square surface has a relief depicting Rayquaza soaring high with Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina. No surprise here, for the Draconids viewed Rayquaza as the trio's equal. if not their superior. The third largest stele has a painting of Mega Rayquaza in the night sky, glowing like the stars surrounding it. It's a indicator that this depicts the Draconids' creation tale.
"Bet you forgot what a relief is, Melanie."
"Ha." Melanie proudly smiles. "A relief's a sculpture that's attached to the background, and a stele is a stone slab that has text, a relief, or a painting on it." She flicks his head. "Eat your heart out cuz I'm just that awesome."
"I won't argue with that."
Neolithic statues of warriors, priests and monks form a congregation around life-sized Salamence, Altaria, and Flygon statues. The Salamence statue is from the height of the empire's power, and it's got Queen Higana wearing ceremonial armor. Near the statues is a model containing thirty five Draconid archers and fifteen different Dragon-type Pokémon. Also present are a Charizard, a Salamence and an Aerodactyl.
Lurking behind it is a relief depicting a massive Gyarados with fangs that resemble Raikou's protruding sabers.
"Bet you don't remember any of cool facts about this particular relief." Valen cross his arms and gives Melanie a sideways glance. "Such a shame, isn't it?"
"The artist used a prehistoric cave painting as a guide to carve this piece." Melanie runs a hand through her hair. "What now, huh?"
"Well done," Valen quips with a slow clap. "I'm amazed that you actually paid attention to Steven's words for once."
"Oh shut up." She flicks his forehead. "You lovable doofus."
Vases with paintings showcasing their heroic folktales were often given out as trophies to compeition winners. The ones with various legendaries, plus Salamence and Dragonite, were used for ceremonial purposes. Rayquaza must have loved the free food that they kept in these.
Flygon and Altaria grace the bronze vases that everyday people had in their homes, and this set of seven surrounds two glided silver bowls decorated with Beautifly and Butterfree. A wine pitcher shaped like a Swellow is chilling in-between two wine jugs shaped like Shelgon and Shroomish respectively. All three have lavish ornamentation of various Pokémon, with Latios and Latias appearing on all three of them.
The second largest of the Draconid wall paintings depicts trade with the Aqumon people of eastern Hoenn and the Magyoi people of central Hoenn. The largest wall painting is split into two, both sides showing that the peace didn't last. On the left, the Draconids' mighty army interject in a clash between Aqumon and Magyoi warriors. On the right, the turbulent times caused by the last rulers led to the forced assimilation on display.
In recent times, Team Aqua and Team Magma claimed to be descendants of the Aqumon and the Magyoi respectively. They peddled revisionism centered for their own agendas, but even the information about the cultures were misleading. You'd have to be completely ignorant to not know that historians don't view the cultures as weak.
"To think that the stupid hair duo in Galar spread even worse examples of pseudohistory and pseudoarcheology than Team Magma and Team Aqua." Valen walks with his hands in his pockets. "With hair like that, you don't even need to know a lot about Galarian history to realize that they're Gigantamax imbeciles."
Melanie resists tearing up with laughter. "You're priceless." She high-fives him.
Nikuno region to their left, Accrana region to their right. The Arctic regions and Alola lie further left, The regions of Al-Hilāi lies further eight. Hmmm, where should Melanie and him go next?
Melanie flicks his forehead and tilts her head left. Since he can't decide, he'll just follow her lead.
Their eyes lock onto brass sculptures of a Salamence's head and a Garchomp's head, both dating to around 400 CE. Salamence and Garchomp ceremonial masks are present too, accompanied by rows of terracotta figures. Some depict kneeling Lucario and Gallade, others depict sitting Sylveon, Espeon and Umbreon.
"You once showed me a photo of an eighteenth-century brass sculpture similar to those heads," Melanie reminisces with a chuckle. "I thought it was far older, but that what makes the art from this part of the world super cool."
A stele from Uttara Pushya showcases an eight-armed Gigantamax Machamp and a four-headed Hydreigon, two prominent figures among the region's folklore. A third stele depicts the ancient metropolis of Rajputra, the most prominent feature being a temple for Zapdos. Next to that it is a medallion depicting King Amanpreet atop a Latios that soars above the Rajan River.
Since Al-Hilāi was the birthplace of the Ishtarian Empire, the distinct geometric and ornate style is found in art from as early as 600 CE. The selection of rugs and ceramics present are a lively bunch, with several depicting Mew, Celebi, and Jirachi.
"Aren't we going to switch with Hilda and Rosa?" Melanie asks. "You didn't say no."
"What can I say?" Valen shrugs. "Their wholesomeness makes them invincible."
Back to checking out the Al-Hilāi region's art. The stele to his right has a relief of a Garchomp duking it out with a Hydreigon. To his left is a stele that's got a relief of a king commanding his Roaring Moon in battle against a Galarian Moltres.
Roaring Moon's basically an ancient Salamence and he thought it was the coolest Pokémon ever as a kid. It fueled his desire to tame a Salamence and he succeeded.
The others will be here soon enough, but Valen wanted to get a head start on the sculptures. He's among the throng of visitors to be greeted by Steven's Primarina and Milotic, the models being two of Wallace's Pokémon.
The piece is chilling across from the lone Michelangelo sculpture, Milotic and Salamence. The sculptures from classical antiquity are with the rest of the ancient art. Thus, this achingly beautiful rendition of two proud Pokémon is the oldest marble sculpture in this section.
Given the fact that Hoenn views him as their modern day version of Michelangelo and the sculptors of classical antiquity, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that several of Steven Stone's marble sculptures are placed here. To be fair, Steven's a stupendous craftsman that turns marble into a quaint depiction of people and Pokémon at work. Or he may go the route of Bernini and create a dramatic moment that looks like it's been paused. He's been spoken of in the same breath as those three sculptures well beyond Hoenn's borders.
Zieglerian, Galarian and Kalosian sculptures lie in-between the Renaissance works and two works by Gianluigi Bernini, the giant of Ragulian Baroque. Among all the marble is a limewood and polychromy piece by Wernher Stoss. An epic by Vopiscus, Fists of Face and Fury, is the inspiration of this sculpture, named General Aurelius and Golurk. The pair are reading text on a stele, indicating this is meant to represent the calm before the storm.
Alfonso Canova and the works of additional fantastic sculptures lie up ahead, but another Golurk sculpture grabs his attention and pulls it in. How could it not when it's by his boy Bernini?
How did Gianluigi Bernini take marble and mold it like clay? Because Bernini was a magician and his trick was turning sculpture into theatre. This take on the Siscian epic, Golurk and Kaveh, is the aforementioned storm. It's the moment where the general's Golurk punches through a formation of enemy soldiers.
Golurk's hovering with both fists extended in different positions. One soldier's being tossed into the air, while a second soldier drops his sword as he's clobbered by Golurk's left fist. A third soldier's bellowing on the ground, lying at the feet of Golurk's main target. Kaveh's eyes strike the viewer with an aura of fear. The general's got one foot behind the other, but there is no escape for this petrified, wretched soul.
There's a commotion going on. Not a loud one, but it's more than usual for a place like this. However, Valen doesn't notice the blue-haired man that the commotion's about is approaching him.
"You seem quite taken by Bernini," the man remarks, "Fine taste you have."
"Thanks, he's my favorite—"
Valen's eyes widen and he rapidly turns his body to face the visitor. He knows that voice from countless videos. Just about everybody will recognize that black, elegant jacket and white tie. That's the signature attire of…Steven Stone. Talk about a plot twist.
"Ah, apologies for catching you by surprise."
"Err…it's fine." Valen scratches his head. "I just…uh...I didn't think I'd run into somebody of your status." He offers a handshake, to which Steven accepts. "Name's Valen."
"…Valen?" Steven places his thumb and left index finger on his chin. "That name sounds familiar."
Valen slightly jerks his head back, but he's able to maintain his cool. Maybe Steven knows him because his mother's the director of the Calvanian Museum of Art—Steven's work was the subject of an exhibition a couple of weeks ago. There's no way he's on Steven's radar for trainer and coordinator reasons…is there?
"I do apologize for the placement of my sculptures." Steven sighs and runs a palm down his face. "I could never match Il Divino Michelangelo or Il Cavaliere Bernini, but they won't listen to me."
Valen brushes off his thoughts. He'll address them later—it's not everyday an encounter like this happens. Steven's quite humble for such a remarkable artist and archeologist, but one can see that just by watching one of his lectures.
"Can you hear the figures in a Bernini sculpture?"
"Sure can," Valen affirms. "Same with a Caravaggio painting."
"Marvelous," Steven commends. "I can still hear the marble speak to me." His eyes meet the eyes of his massive Deoxys versus Rayquaza sculpture. "When sculpting, the figures try to break free from the rock. It's my duty to assist it."
"What about archaeology?" Valen folds his arms. "Do the artifacts speak too?"
"You catch on quick—they tell us stories of the past," Steven responds. "Now then, I should be on my way to the director's office. Enjoy the rest of your time in Hoenn."
Steven's words about sculpture ring in Valen's mind. He's read similar words in books—Michelangelo Bellincioni stated similar feelings centuries ago. He's heard similar words from Rosa—she's said the same thing about the greats of painting's past.
"...I think my Uncle Roderick will understand if I'm a few minutes late." Steven slowly comes to a halt and flashes a faint grin. "Now I remember who you are." He glances behind him. "Not many have bested our Battle Frontier."
"…Really…you know about that?" Valen's heart and pulse slightly increase in pace. "I can't say I was expecting that."
"Such a feat wasn't going to go unnoticed—I know each and every name of those who have triumphed there."
"…Huh…but I suppose it makes sense." A former champion knows his name…is this real life?
"And may the great Gianluigi Bernini inspire your next contest performance." Steven resumes walking, briefly raising a hand. "That is where you truly shine like a gemstone, Le Moissonneur Noir."
Valen's eyes are even wider this time around. Steve knows his moniker?! …How…when…what's going on?!
"Good day to you."
Valen's lips remain parted, but nothing's coming out. As the words continue to repeat inside of his head, all he can do is stare in disbelief. Lisia scouted him years ago…now his moniker's reached the ears of…Steven. It's now highly plausible that….said moniker is familiar to him! If said moniker is known to Lisia's uncle-calm down. Don't jump the Sharpedo.
Melanie and Serena have shown up just as Steven was walking out. He's giving them her his autograph, and their eyes sparkle like the diamonds on Melanie's necklace. Rosa and Hilda seem to have overheard everything-their eyes sparkling like the necklaces of the latter duo. Calem too, hence the gives hard pats. The balls of fluff kiss him at the same time, but he somehow avoids his blushing...why's he so inconsistent?
"…Heh, I guess I've gotta double down on contests when I get home." He tells Rosa, Hilda, and Calem while observing Melanie and Serena approaching. "Did he praise you coordinator skills, Serena?"
Serena's grin bears her teeth and she runs a hand through her hair. "What do you think?"
Valen smirks and high fives her. "C'est mon amie."
"Oui." Serena laughs.
"I'll never hear the end of this." Calem holds up a gift shop bag. "Melanie, Serena and I got something for everybody."
"From coordinator to coordinator, here you go." Her smile widens upon seeing the joy on Valen's face. "Ha, called it."
"No you didn't, I did." Melanie chuckles. "Don't steal my thunder."
Huh, the gift shop must've expanded their inventory. In any case, it's fitting that this famous woodblock print, Nakagawa Utamaro's Kabuki Trainer, is his gift. A Salamence and a Hisuian Typhlosion is depicted alongside the man. Rosa and Hilda also received ukiyo-e prints, Akizuki Hiroshige's Grass Pokémon and Kamakura Hokusai's Whirl Islands respectively.
For now, he'll continue to enjoy hanging out with this fantastic quintet, this grand museum and the lovely city it calls home. It can't be a coincidence that Alfonso Algardi's Salamence is staring right at him.
The sculpture's head is up high and its expression is one of fierce determination. It's like his own Salamence asked fate to send him a visual message.
Embrace your aplomb and fly to the top of the mountain.
I hope you enjoyed this one-shot!
The cast are in their early twenties.
I tried to weave in paintings you can see inside the museum in ORAS, such as one of Arceus and one of a Ralts.
More than a few artists did not use their birth name, such as Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. He's known as Caravaggio, the name of the town he was born in. Another example is El Greco, whose birth name was Domḗnikos Theotokópoulos.
Albrecht Dürer was more printmaker than painter, but he was definitely a skilled painter. Two excellent Dürer books were written by Erwin Panofsky and Nobert Wolf respectively.
Michelangelo did not paint the Sistine Chapel artworks twice. Leonardo da Vinci's painting output was lower than other masters. Raphael, or Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, was the most prolific painter between the three titans.
For documentaries, there's are two excellent multi doc series for Renaissance and Baroque respectively. Waldemar Januszczak is an excellent presenter.
James Wright of Hulbury's meant to be the in-universe version of Joseph Wright of Derby. I couldn't find any location in Galar that's based off of Derby.