Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Virtual Sistine Chapel

Image: The Hand of God giving life to Adam

the Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina in Italian) is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. The chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored the old Cappella Magna between 1477 and 1480. Since the time of Sixtus IV, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new Pope is selected. It is also the site of some of the worlds most famous frescoes.

The frescoes of the Sistine Chapel were created by great Renaissance artists of whom Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, and Sandro Botticelli are the best known. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) of the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. It is said that he resented the commission, believing his work only served the Pope's need for grandeur. However, today the ceiling, and especially The Last Judgment, are widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievements in painting.

Following a ten year (1984-1994) restoration project the Sistine Chapel and the stunning frescoes adorning its walls and ceilings are one of the major attractions at The Vatican.

Image: Who’s who and what’s where on the Sistine Chapel walls and ceilings. Source: Wikipedia…

I have never actually visited the Sistine Chapel myself, although it is on my ‘bucket list’, but when a friend sent me a link which allowed me to visit the Chapel from the comfort of my Greek island accommodations, I had no hesitation making the instant journey to Italy to exam the frescoes up close without the risk of straining my neck or putting my back out.

And now you too can visit the Sistine Chapel by clicking on this link…

To view every part of Michelangelo's masterpiece just click and drag your arrow in the direction you wish to see. Alternatively, you can also use the four direction keys on your keyboard to look up, down or turn around within the virtual Chapel.

You can also use the Shift key to zoom in closer and the Ctrl key to zoom out.

Use the image plan above to look for specific sections within the frescoes.


More Information:

The Official Vatican website...

Wikipedia: the Sistine Chapel…

Wikipedia: the Sistine Chapel Ceiling…

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