Backstory Of Sistine Chapel That Gives The Vatican City A Different View

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The Sistine Chapel, located in the heart of Vatican City, houses various frescoes. The famous Renaissance artworks by Michelangelo, which were commissioned by Pope Julius II, are what the chapel is mostly known for.

More than five million visitors and tourists witness these beautiful pieces of art that make the chapel more appealing. They admire the Sistine Chapel paintings and are captivated by the beauty that the walls and ceiling exude.

But what makes the Sistine Chapel interesting? This mysterious question has remained unanswered and is still counted as the most curious query that people are searching for.

There’s history behind every renowned artwork, which fascinates the viewers more. If you are in search of answers about the foundation that created the chapel, get your response here, where we’ve covered the ins and outs of the structure.

Story behind the Sistine Chapel: How, When, & Why?

It all started when Pope Nicholas V decided that the Vatican should be considered where the Pope lives and had a private chapel dedicated to the Pope, which they built for independent use.

Fra Angelico designed the interior of the chapel with various frescoes that can still be seen today. While this became the private chapel for the Popes, there was another papal chapel known as “Cappella Magna.”

Pope Sixtus IV was elected pope in 1471 and became known among people for reconstructing the Cappella Magna. The chapel was finally completed in 1483 and was named after Pope Sixtus IV, “the Sistine Chapel.”

The image above shows the Sistine Chapel reconstruction before Michelangelo’s frescoes were captured on the chapel’s walls and ceilings.

Later, when the new pope, Julius II, was elected, he decided to make a few changes in the Sistine Chapel. And that’s when Michelangelo happened. He decorated the chapel with his frescoes for four years, during which he lost his sight.

Exclusive truth beneath the Chapel

The renowned pieces of art have the most limelight among the people, but what is not visible to the naked eye is the darkness that lies behind the light and the secrets that are hidden beneath the rays of success. The Sistine Chapel Ceiling is also one of the structures that holds all the secrets within itself while showcasing the best parts in front.

There is always something interesting about the structure that makes it unique and known among the people. Do you want to know those secrets about the chapel? Here we go!

  • Four naked boys known as Ignudi portray a few episodes in the paintings from the Book of Genesis that are painted on the chapel’s ceilings.
  • Julius II was the nephew of Sixtus IV which means that nepotism has always been in existence from a long period of time where chapel still served as the pope’s private space. Often the pope’s “nephews” were their actual sons.
  • The controversy over the nudity of the figures that Michelangelo displayed in his paintings was later covered by artist Daniele da Volterra by adding leaves and loincloths to the figures in the artwork.
  • It is also said that there are some hidden images added to some of the paintings that the Sistine Chapel exhibits which are not visible to the people that come around because they require an extreme level of observation.

A place that is rich in history is surely going to have more secrets constructed into it. What’s interesting is that these paintings are no longer meant to be in chapels and museums. With high-quality reproduction paintings, these inspiring stories and sometimes uncanny ones, can make it to your walls too.

What was the purpose of the Sistine Chapel?

It is known for the fact that the Chapel of Sistine was made for the Popes to live in and keep for personal use. But why is the Sistine Chapel so famous?

In an earlier period of time, the chapel was made in order to have the assembly that elects the new Pope. The gathering only happens after a pope’s death or renunciation due to any personal reasons. This was the primary reason that Popes built the Sistine Chapel in the first place.

But to date, the chapel is mostly known for the Renaissance frescoes that were created on the chapel’s ceilings by the most famous artists.

Closing Note

Do you know how much tickets to the Sistine Chapel cost?

Well, the entry fee to the chapel is 16 euros, which alone makes the annual revenue for the Vatican Museum around 80 million euros. This is huge!

We all know that paintings by Michelangelo represent the Sistine Ceiling, but what we are not aware of are things that happened before Michelangelo. There were other Sistine Chapel painters like Botticelli who had already kept their hands on the walls of the chapel.

As I mentioned earlier, a particular part that is so eminent always carries a history, truth, and mystery behind it. There are specific ways that drove the old masters to capture certain moments in their paintings and showcase them in the larger picture.