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Sistine Chapel

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TITLE:    Sistine Chapel
ARTIST: Michelangelo
SIZE:       19" x 27"
PIECES:  1000
PRICE:    $18
MADE BY: Clementoni
DESCRIPTION:  The Sistine Chapel was built between 1475 and 1483, in the time of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere. A basic feature of the chapel itself, so obvious that it is sometimes ignored, is the papal function, as the pope's chapel and the location of the elections of new popes.  The Chapel is rectangular in shape and measures 40,93 meters long by 13,41 meters wide, i.e. the exact dimensions of the Temple of Solomon, as given in the Old Testament.  It is 20,70 meters high and is surmounted by a shallow barrel vault with six tall windows cut into the long sides, forming a series of pendentives between them.  A marble mosaic floor of exquisite workmanship describes the processional itinerary up to and beyond the marble screen, to the innermost space, where it offers a surround for the papal throne and the cardinals' seats. The architectural plans were made by Baccio Pontelli and the construction was supervised by Giovanino de'Dolci. 

The walls are divided into three orders by horizontal cornices; according to the decorative program, the lower of the three orders was to be painted with fictive "tapestries," the central one with two facing cycles - one relating
the life of Moses (left wall) and the other the Life of Christ (right wall), starting from the end wall, where the altar fresco, painted by Perugino, depicted the Virgin of the Assumption, to whom the chapel was dedicated. The upper
order is endowed with pilasters that support the pendentives of the vault. 

The wall paintings were executed by Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosselli, Luca Signorelli and their respective workshops, which included Pinturicchio, Piero di Cosimo and Bartolomeo della
Gatta. The ceiling was frescoed by Piero Matteo d'Amelia with a star-spangled sky. 

Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II della Rovere in 1508 to repaint the ceiling; the work was completed between 1508 and 1512. He painted the Last Judgement over the altar, between 1535 and 1541, being
commissioned by Pope Paul III Farnese.


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