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The Sistine Chapel

ImageThe Sistine Chapel was built within the Vatican during the time of Pope Sixtus IV.Work began on the chapel in 1477 and finished in 1480. The first mass in the chapel was celebrated on Aug 9, 1483.  The Sistine Chapel is a rectangular brick building with six arched windows on each of the two main walls and a barrel vaulted ceiling. It is drab and dull from the outside but once you step into the interior you are transported to another world. The walls are covered with paintings by the great artists Pietro,Perugino, Botticelli, Rosselli, Signorelli and their respective workshops. Michelangelo, though a sculptor, was commissioned by Pope Julius II dela Rovere in 1508 to repaint the ceiling. The work was completed between 1508 and 1512. The form of art used was frescoes where paint is applied to wet plaster. The frescoes of Michelangelo show stories from the Bible. There are nine pictures that tell stories from the Old Testament of the Bible .These include stories about God making light, the earth, the sun and the moon. Next, there are pictures telling the story of God making Adam and of making Eve from Adam’s rib. There is a picture depicting the fall of man, when Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit and are chased out of the Garden of Eden. Three pictures tell about Noah’s Ark. All around the wall, Michelangelo painted twelve big figures of wise men and women depicting the prophets who told people about the coming of Christ. Michelangelo also painted the Last Judgement over the altar, being commissioned by Pope Paul III Farnese. 

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