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THE SISTINE CHAPEL AND MICHELANGELO ARTWORKS VATICAN TOUR

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MICHELANGELO AND THE SISTINE CHAPEL

Michelangelo is known for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Las Judgment along the altar wall. However, the history pertaining to the paintings is almost as fascinating as the paintings themselves.

In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. At first, Michelangelo protested stating he was a sculptor not a painter; however, he finally gave in to the urging of the pope and began painting the ceiling during the autumn of that year.

In order for Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, scaffolding was used for the painter to reach the ceiling and create the unique paintings you see today. The entire painting of over 400 larger than life size figures took Michelangelo four years to complete. The masterpiece was both physically and mentally exhausting.

The various panels on the ceiling depict the life of the world prior to the birth of Christ. Among the various paintings, you will see the Creation of Adam, the Garden of Eden, the nine scenes from Genesis, and the prophets.

As your eyes move to the altar wall, you will find another
masterpiece created by Michelangelo, The Last Judgment. The Last Judgment took nine years to complete during 1537 to 1541. This amazing painting depicts the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse.

Controversy over the painting between Cardinal Carafa and Michelangelo due to naked figures inside the church was a major drawback. At one time Cardinal Carafa and Monsignor Sernini began a campaign to remove the paintings due to their graphic nature. However, the paintings remained with the genitalia covered at a later date by artist Daniele da Volterra.

As you look at the painting of the Last Judgment, you will find a self-portrait of Michelangelo among the various figures in the painting. He is St Bartholomew after he had been skinned alive due to the feelings he had from being commissioned to paint the Last Judgment.

Michelangelo may not have wanted to paint any of the paintings home in the Sistine Chapel as he himself longed to be known as sculptor instead of a painter, however, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is the most famous work known around the world instead of the various sculptures dotting Rome created by Michelangelo.

A visit to the Sistine Chapel will bring visitors close to the amazing masterpieces of Michelangelo and will provide them with an in-depth look of the various pieces of history depicted with the frescoes.

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