Michelangelo Sistine Chapel Ceiling
The Sistine Chapel ceiling is considered the greatest work of art done by one person.
It is considered Michelangelo's masterpiece, even though sculpture was his usual art form.
The Sistine Chapel is an amazing sight to behold. Seeing it will be a highlight of any visit to Rome Italy
The most famous frescos are certainly Michelangelo Sistine Chapel ceiling and his fresco of the The Last Judgement on the altar wall. These are the largest works of art planned and carried out my one man.
Sistine Chapel History
The chapel in Vatican City Rome was named after Pope Sixtus IV who commissioned that it be built. It was built by Giovanni de' Dolci between 1475 and 1483 as a private chapel for the pope and still is used today for the gathering of cardinals when a new pope is elected.
Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to do the ceiling in 1508 and it took until 1512 to complete. He used the curves of the vault to make the huge figures come to life and almost seem 3 dimensional.
Pope Paul II commissioned Michelangelo to do the Last Judgement 23 years later in 1535. He completed this amazing fresco in 1541.
Sistine Chapel Ceiling Diagram
Beginning from the altar end, the large Sistine Chapel ceiling frescos depict:
On either side of these frescos are seven of the prophets of Israel and five woman prophets of the Classical world or sybils who propesied the birth of Christ and in the triangles are the ancestors of Christ.
Sistine Chapel Side Wall Frescos
The side wall frescos depict the life of Christ on the right when facing the altar and the life of Moses on the left. On the pillars between the windows are the figures of 28 popes. Pope Sixtus IV commissioned famous artists Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Rosselli, Peerugino, Pinturicchio, Signorelli and di Cosimo in around 1482 to do these and the remaining frescos in the chapel.
It took about 11 months for them to complete their work. One of the most important is Perugino's Christ giving the keys to Peter....note the Arch of Constantine in the background.
Visiting the Sistine Chapel
If you follow any color coded Vatican Museum tour....there are four of them....you will end up in the Sistine chapel.
Pope John Paul II said about Michelangelo's masterpiece....
It seems that Michelangelo, in his own way, allowed himself to be guided by the evocative words of the Book of Genesis which, as regards the creation of the human being, male and female, reveals: 'The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame'. The Sistine Chapel is precisely - if one may say so - the sanctuary of the theology of the human body. In witnessing to the beauty of man created by God as male and female, it also expresses in a certain way, the hope of a world transfigured, the world inaugurated by the Risen Christ.
Check out the Vatican's wonderful virtual tour of the Sistine chapel.
Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's BascilicaIncludes a Free Audio Tour of Rome!
One of the best ways to see the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is on a Rome sightseeing tour. This tour includes a time slot at the Vatican Museums so you won't have to wait in a long line. The English speaking guide takes you through the Museums of the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Square and St. Peters Bascilica. Check out details of this tour that includes the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The amazing Sistine Chapel Ceiling and other frescos are a must see on a Rome vacation.
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