The Sistine Chapel is one of the most aclaimed chapels in the world and it is located in Vatican City.
Pope Sixtus IV built the chapel in the 15th century, hence the name “Sistine”; but the real star of the show is the ceiling, painted by Michelangelo in the early 16th century.
Michelangelo was a multi-talented artist. He was not only a sculptor, but also a painter, architect and poet. He was also a highly skilled draftsman and engineer.
In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Pope Julius II was a great patron of the arts and had a keen interest in Michelangelo’s outstanding work.
A grand and impressive work of art
Pope Julius II wanted to make a statement with the Sistine Chapel and he wanted a grand and impressive work of art that would showcase the power and prestige of the Catholic Church. Michelangelo’s reputation and skills made him the perfect choice for such a monumental project. He knew Michelangelo was the ideal artist to undertake the job so he convinced Michelangelo to focus on the ceiling of the chapel.
It took Michelangelo four years to complete the project. During this time, he suffered from neck and back pain and temporary blindness. All caused by the strain of working on the ceiling for long periods.
The final result is considered one of the greatest artworks of all time, and continues to be a source of inspiration and awe for visitors.
In the 80s, the Vatican did a big restoration effort to bring back some of the original colours, but it’ll never be the same.
Oh, and another fun fact: Michelangelo used a technique called “sfumato”. A technique that uses smoke to create a hazy effect on certain parts of the frescoes.
Exclusive Access to the Sistine Chapel
The frescoes on the ceiling and walls are absolutely stunning. If you want to avoid the crowds and take in the beauty and grandeur of the chapel without distractions, book our Express Early viewing Sistine Chapel Tour.
Entering the Sistine Chapel before the museum opens for the public is a unique and special experience. It allows for a more intimate and personal engagement with the artwork and the architecture. It also allows for a greater appreciation of the details and subtleties of the frescoes.
So next time you visit the Sistine Chapel, remember to look up and appreciate the pain, sweat and smoke that went into creating this masterpiece.
Posted by Laine Alcantara – Travel Content Creator