The frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512 under the commission of Pope Julius II. Originally painted as golden stars on a blue sky, Michelangelo worked on the ceiling to convert it into one of the most famous works of art in the world. Michelangelo commenced the enormous undertaking after he built himself a scaffold to reach the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Over 40 scenes were painted onto the ceiling in the span of 4 years depicting nine stories of Genesis, ancestors of Jesus, the twelve Prophets, and Sibyls, as well as the salvation of the people of Israel.
The Last Judgement is probably the most famous single work of art in the Sistine Chapel. Covering the entire wall behind the altar, The Last Judgement was painted by Michelangelo from 1535 to 1541. The Last Judgement depicts the second coming of Christ on the Day of Judgment and is based on the 20th chapter of the Revelation of John. A heroic image of Jesus occupies the center of the wall with saints and prophets surrounding him. Common folk has been painted at the bottom of the wall. The painting is one of a kind in terms of its symbolism and size and has to be seen in person to truly feel its glory.
The southern wall of the Sistine Chapel is decorated with the Stories of Moses. Painted in 1481-1482, some of the famous frescoes on the southern wall are:
The cycle ends on the entrance wall with the Dispute over the body of Moses.
The northern wall of the Sistine Chapel is decorated with the Stories of Jesus, painted in 1481-1482:
Beyond the windows, you will also find three episodes of the Passion: the Agony in the garden, the Arrest of Jesus, and the Crucifixion. The cycle ends with the Resurrection of Christ on the entrance wall.
The Entrance Wall of the Sistine Chapel is decorated with the following frescoes that depict the final episodes in the lives of Christ and Moses:
• Resurrection of Christ
• Discussion over the body of Moses
The original frescos created by Ghirlandaio and Signorelli respectively were destroyed in 1522 when the architrave of the door collapsed. They were replaced in 1522 by the works of Hendrik van den Broeck and Matteo da Lecce.
A. The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace that was built between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV. Aaprt from being a place of both religious and functionary papal activity, it is a tourist attraction thanks to the frescoes created by Michelangelo.
A. Yes, you need to purchase tickets to enter the Sistine Chapel. Your Vatican Museums tickets will allow you access to the chapel. You can buy your Vatian Museum tickets here.
A. Yes. Your Vatican skip-the-line entry tickets include the Sistine Chapel as well.
A. No, you need to go through the Vatican Museums to enter the Sistine Chapel as it is last of the 54 galleries inside the Vatican Museums.
A. Inside the Sistine Chapel you will be able to see the magnificent frescoes on the ceiling that had been painted by Michelangelo. You will be able to see depictions of the lives of Moses and Jesus here.
A. No, photography is strictly prohibited inside the Sistine Chapel.
A. Yes, visitors are expected to dress appropriately and modestly to gain entry into the Sistine Chapel.
A. Yes, guided tours of the Sistine Chapel will be available with your Vatican tour. However, it is important to remember that visitors are expected to observe absolute silence while inside the Sistine Chapel and so, your guide will provide you with all the explanations that you would need before you enter the chapel.
A. You should set aside at least an hour to view all the frescoes inside the Sistine Chapel.