On the afternoon of November 21, 2019, Pope Francis left the apostolic nunciature and transferred by car to the Amphorn Royal Palace, the principal residence of the King of Thailand, for a private visit to His Majesty the King Maha Vajiralongkorn “Rama X”.
Upon arrival, the Pope was greeted at the entrance to the palace by the King who accompanied him to the audience hall where he was introduced to the Queen.
After the private meeting with the Royal family of Thailand and the official photograph, the exchange of gifts took place.
At the end the Holy Father took leave of the King and Queen, and left the palace destined for the Supachalasai National Stadium of Bangkok.
The gift presented to the king is a mosaic depicting the “Papal Blessing in Saint Peter’s Square”. It is based on an oil painting by Ippolito Caffi dating from the mid-nineteenth century and now conserved in the Museum of Rome. It shows Saint Peter’s Square flooded with morning light, with many people waiting for the Papal Blessing from the central Loggia of the Basilica, protected by a large white cloth. Ippolito Caffi was one of the most important and original vedutisti of the Italian 1800s. The mosaic (35×60 cm) was produced by the Mosaicists of the Vatican Mosaic Studio between June and November 2019. Polychrome enamels were used, applied with oily stucco on a metal base. The stucco has the same formula as that used in past centuries to apply the mosaics in Saint Peter’s Basilica. The spun enamels technique, typical of the Vatican Mosaic Studio, was used in the realization of the work.