View the Magnificent Art of the Sistine Chapel

Europe - Editor - 31 March 2008

View the Magnificent Art of the Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel in Italy is synonymous with one of the greatest artists who ever lived - Michelangelo. It can be said that Michelangelo brought fame to the Sistine Chapel, which is visited by thousands of tourists each year, who come to view the detailed work he left behind on the ceiling of the chapel. Located in the corner of the Apostolic Palace, this remarkable chapel has become a monument to Michelangelo and a legendary historical attraction in Italy.

The Sistine Chapel was constructed under the care of Pope Sixtus IV Della Rovere during the years 1477 to 1480. A team of artists, consisting of Cosimo Rosselli, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Sandro Botticelli, were commissioned to decorate the chapel. Between 1508 and 1512 Michelangelo was brought in to create his masterpiece that overshadowed the excellence of any creation of other artists before and after him.

When looking at the ceiling closely, visitors will notice that there are three depictions of nine scenes that come from the book of Genesis in the Bible. One of the most famous of these is the Creation of Adam; with the hands of Adam and God almost touching, being reproduced so many times that it has become an iconic piece of work. The nine scenes that were painted by Michelangelo are The Separation of Light and Darkness taken from Genesis 1:1-5; The Creation of the Sun, Moon and Earth from Genesis 1:11-19; The Separation of Land and Water in Genesis 1:9-10; The Creation of Adam in Genesis 1:26-27; and the Creation of Eve from Genesis 2:18-25. The Temptation and Expulsion depicts Genesis 3:22-24; The Sacrifice of Noah touches on Genesis 8:14-20; The Great Flood is the visual re-enactment of Genesis 6:5-20; and the Drunkenness of Noah is from Genesis 9:20-27. In contrast to what is generally believed, Michelangelo did not lie on his back while painting the ceiling, he stood for hours in uncomfortable positions to create this breathtaking piece of art.

On the outer wall, behind the altar, visitors will see the work of a mature and skilled Michelangelo, through The Last Judgment, a project he undertook in his sixties. The piece is a spectacular rendition that is based on the New Testament. Taking him four hundred and fifty days to finis, it is a masterful and inspiring sight. Other paintings that appear on the walls include the Baptism of Christ and Events from the Life of Moses.

Visitors will not be permitted to take any photos on the inside of the Sistine Chapel, and noise levels are required to be kept to a minimum. But do not despair; there are many fine books with magnificent color photos of the chapel for you to look back on. It is an amazing attraction to visit, as the colors and beauty that have come to light after the completion of the restoration work has left the paintings looking as vibrant as they were the day Michelangelo lifted his brush and stood back to admire his work.


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