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The Sistine Chapel


A Summary Of The Sistine Chapel And How It Was Painted


Of all the iconic places in the world noted for their architectural beauty or artistic qualities, the Sistine chapel ranks up toward the top and shines with the best of them. Most people will have heard of the Sistine Chapel, and its famous painter, Michelangelo.

The most astounding part of the building is its domes and arched ceilings, which originally were painted blue and covered with stars. When Michelangelo started to paint his design on the Sistine chapels ceiling, he had to use a variety of different tools to help him not only reach the roof but be able to lay steady enough to paint his work of art.


The artwork focused on scenes depicted in the old testament and range from Noah's flood to the story of the creation of the world. In fact, the artwork is so famous around the world that it proves to be one of the largest influences in the local economy regarding tourism.

Painting the Sistine Chapel began in 1508 and continued for 4 years until 1512. To reach the ceiling of the chapel, Michelangelo used a combination of scaffolding to be able to reach every inch of the roof. As the painting progressed to the centre of the chapel, the images became larger and involved much more movement and depth.


During the time that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, modern advances in scaffolding and support were not available as we experience today. The scaffolding he used lay just 16 inches from the roof and gave him a steady platform to lie on. The arches of the domed sections were reached by standing on the scaffolding and allowed Michelangelo to reach every last inch.

Now, more than 500 years on, the painting is seen as one of the greatest architectural and artistic feats created by man and is viewed by more than 500,000 people each year. It has placed the Sistine chapel firmly on the map as an iconic landmark and has allowed Michelangelo's work to live on in a protected and much-respected way.


While many view his artwork as paintings, for some, they see it as sculptures that have been painted onto the ceiling, and in a way, this is exactly what they are. While focused on the old testament, there are also artistic elements pertaining to paganism which can be found throughout.

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