Sistine Chapel, one of the best human masterpiece
The frescoes that we are contemplating here introduce us into the world of the contents of the Revelation. The truths of our faith speak to us here from all sides. From them human genius took its inspiration undertaking to clothe them in forms of incomparable beauty.
(Pope John Paul II)
The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace. It takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere who had the old Cappella Magna restored between 1477 and 1480. During his reign, a team of Renaissance painter (that included Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli) decorated walls with false drapes, the Stories of Moses and of Christ and the portraits of the Pope.
On the Ceiling Pier Matteo d’Amelia painted a starry sky. On 15 August 1483, Sixtus IV consecrated the new chapel dedicating it to Our Lady of the Assumption.
Michelangelo Buonarroti painted the chapel’s ceiling between 1508 and 1512, under Pope Julius II (nephew of Sixtus IV). The work was finished in October 1512 and on the Feast of All Saints (1 November), Julius II inaugurated the Sistine Chapel with a solemn Mass. The nine central panels show the Stories of Genesis, from the Creation to the Fall of man, to the Flood and the subsequent rebirth of mankind with the family of Noah.
Michelangelo returned between 1535 and 1541, under Popes Clement VII and Paul III, and painted The Last Judgment.
Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected.