Happy 500th to the Sistine Chapel ceiling

Yesterday wasn’t just Halloween. It was also the 500th anniversary of the unveiling of Michelangelo’s famous frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. That momentous event occurred on October 31, 1512. I’d like to personally say Happy Birthday to the ceiling.

I have been to the Sistine Chapel and have craned my neck to stare at that ceiling. It’s awesome. For those who don’t know, there are nine panels depicting various moments from the Bible. My favorite, and by far the most famous, is the “Creation of Adam,” in which God and Adam’s hands are reaching each other (with the fingers not quite touching).

If you’re interested in the Sistine ceiling, first I recommend going to Italy. In the meantime, I recommend watching this video. You can learn a thing or two. Also I like the interview with Antonio Paolucci, Director of the Vatican Museums. He’s a cool guy. I like listening to him talk.

Little known fact I just learned: Michelangelo painted the frescos over a starry night scene that had been painted on the
ceiling between 1477 and 1480.

I also just learned that Michelangelo at first didn’t want to paint the ceiling because he considered himself a sculptor, not a painter. In fact, he looked down a bit on painters.

I’m glad he changed his mind.

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Photo: Hadleygrass is asparagus via Flickr

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