Sistine Chapel, Rome
Ranked #10 in Italy Tourism
Rome is one of the most fabulous locations on the planet and not for the reasons the word ‘fabulous’ indicates. Her history is vast and rich beyond reckoning, her sense of style and grace and how well she’d weathered the progress of time and its travails is another. One small but significant example of such glory takes the form of the Sistine Chapel.
Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Nobody knows what made the now-infamous artist Michelangelo decide to climb up to the scaffold in 1508 and begin work on one of the greatest artistic achievements ever completed. It was actually Pope Julius II who made the artist return from Florence and set up a series of events that led to him painting the domed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
There’s a lot of history and truth behind how it came to be constructed, decked up and whatnot, all of which an able guide can help communicate. One look at the ceiling with the fresco of the Human-Divine connection (‘Creation of Adam’) among scenes from the book of Genesis in the Bible and also an idea of what the ‘Last Judgment’ is (according to Catholic scripture) will render you speechless and in awe of the power behind human expression. Michelangelo’s skill can never be questioned.
Also on your list of art-to-admire must be The Story of Noah, The Expulsion of Adam and Eve, The Creation of the World and Fall from Grace and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden. As you can imagine, one half of any one of these paintings is sufficient to induce a jaw-dropping moment. Imagine all these artworks in their detailed spiritual/religious significance.
Sistine Chapel Walls
Head to the North Wall of the Sistine Chapel where you’ll find the life and times of Jesus, the Christ (anointed), being displayed in inimitable detail. The Sermon on the Mount by Rosselli and The Baptism of Jesus by Perugino are but a couple examples.
The South Wall of the Sistine Chapel, on the other hand, has you witnessing the stories behind Moses, a man who preceded Jesus and to whom is attributed the parting of the Red Sea, among many a divine miracle. The Ten Commandments by Rosselli and Moses’ Journey through Egypt by Perugino are but two examples in this regard.
Sistine Chapel Tour
There’s an after-hours tour of the Sistine Chapel which is actually a private guided tour, so check the schedule and be prepared to pay that little extra for a closer look at beauty made manifest. None of the crowds and all of the silent splendor that is the Sistine Chapel is something to look forwards to indeed.
This architectural miracle, of sorts, isn’t one to miss. You can see all the photos in the world taken of the place, but to stand in its actual real-life aura and soak up the sight of it is one helluva experience—pardon the non-religious word.