HISTORY OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL: The History of the Sistine Chapel began when it was constructed between 1475 and 1481 by Giovanni de Dolci under orders of Sixtus IV to a design by Baccio Pontelli. The cycle of frescoes for the Sistine Chapel had been established in the early history of the Sistine Chapel (1475-81) when great artists the likes of Botticelli ..... More information on the history of the Sistine Chapel
THE SISTINE CHAPEL & MICHELANGELO: The Sistine Chapel was the vessel through which Michelangelo realized his own destiny. Initially, the relationship between the young Michelangelo and Pope Julius II for whom he painted the Sistine Chapel, didn't get off to a good start....... More information on Michelangelo & the Sistine Chapel.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE SISTINE CHAPEL IN ROME
The Sistine Chapel is arguably the most famous buildings in the world. So much has been written about this icon to the glories & achievements of the Italian Renaissance movement and the single-minded genius of one Michelangelo Buonarrotti (more commonly known as Michelangelo), but no description or photograph can truly convey the impact that it has on all who visit Italy's most popular tourist attraction.
It's only natural upon entering into the Sistine Chapel to look up at the ceiling, the focal point of the Sistine Chapel for both its artistic accomplishments and in recognition of the herculean task that took Michelangelo four years to complete, painting on his back some 20 meters above marble floor below. As one's eyes delight in the golden-creamy light and the wonderful sensation of harmony reflected in the images of the frescoes of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, a sharp contrast awaits the viewer.
Below the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel lies the chaos and turmoil of Michelangelo's "Last Judgment". It's brilliant blue colors and enigmatic style conflicts so greatly with the more celebrated cycle of frescoes on the ceiling that one would almost conclude they were painted by different artists. In fact, they were painted by two very different Michelangelo's.
In 1508, when Michelangelo accepted his first commission in the Sistine Chapel to fresco the ceiling it was at height of the Renaissance in a world still filled with optimism and classical ideas of beauty. Thus these frescoes were the glorious culmination of all that had gone on before the creation of the chapel. But, when Michelangelo returned in 1534 to paint the Last Judgment, the world had changed forever and so to had Michelangelo.
Earlier 1527, came the terrible sack of Rome and with it the end of the hopes and ideals of the Renaissance world. To Michelangelo and his contemporaries it seemed like the end of the world, as if it was a sign of the wrath of God. And, so as Michelangelo painted his Last Judgment he was seeking some sort of spiritual regeneration. Through the combination of his own universal genius, the beliefs and desires of these two diverse worlds, and the spiritual transition that separated them, were catalysts that helped establish the Sistine Chapel as one of the most important buildings in the world, and Michelangelo as the greatest artist the world has ever known.