These two SATRS presentations comprise a sequential talk which takes us back inside the Sistine Chapel first to look in-depth at Michelangelo’s frescos—Creation, Last Judgment, and prophetic figures, and then again to explore the biblical narratives on the Chapel’s side walls.
Part One (April 28) focuses on Michelangelo’s masterworks: the ceiling fresco—the “nec plus ultra” of art history—that which could never be equalled, and the Chapel’s altar wall—an epic depiction revealing his version of the Last Judgment. At the ceiling we learn about how the Renaissance master gives new meaning to the biblical creation story, and why he synthesises Jewish and Pagan prophesies in his gigantic images of Israel’s Prophets and the Classical World’s Sibyls. At the altar wall we discover how he cunningly unfolds an apocalyptic vision portraying the situation in which Rome found itself at the time.
Part Two (April 30) looks at the frescos on the chapel’s side walls, a parallel series by masters Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio Pietro Perugino, Cosimo Rosselli, and Luca Signorelli depicting biblical stories in the life of Moses and the life of Jesus. While absorbing the theological and artistic details of each fresco, we learn how these paintings harmonise Jewish and Christian salvation history images, and why the artists trap biblical themes in contemporary situations thereby achieving the essence of all great pictorial artwork—timelessness.
Both talks will capture the stylistic homogeneity of the entire Chapel and reveal how it all contributes to a clear message regarding the authority of the Pope over the Church, no doubt a result of the fact that the power of the papacy was constantly being questioned at the time.
For in-depth panoramic pictures follow this link http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html