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The Sistine Chapel is considered one of the most famous frescoes in the world. This large chapel in the Vatican Palace is 134 feet long, 44 feet wide, and 68 feet tall. It is the place in Italy where the pope lives.
See the fact file below for more information on the Sistine Chapel or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Sistine Chapel worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Sistine Chapel is pronounced in Latin as Sacellum Sixtinum and in Italian as Cappella Sistina.
- The Sistine Chapel was built in 1473 and 1481 by Giovanni dei Dolci for Pope Sixtus IV. The Sistine Chapel took its name from the pope at the time, Sixtus IV: “Sisto” in Italian, since he invested funds in building it.
- The Sistine Chapel is used for significant masses and ceremonies. If a pope dies, the College of Cardinals meets in the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope.
- The Sistine Chapel stands on the foundation of an older chapel named the Capella Magna. In 1477, Pope Sixtus IV incited a rebuilding of the chapel, that was then named after him.
- The chapel is a rectangular brick building that is 40.23 meters long and 13.40 meters wide, reputedly, the dimensions of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, which was demolished in A.D. 70.
- The exterior of the chapel is simple and modest, with no decoration and no big door, giving little hint to the imposing designs inside.
- It was Pope Sixtus IV who commissioned well-known painters, including Botticelli and Rosselli, to design the chapel.
- At that time, the ceiling of Sistine Chapel was designed only like a simple blue sky with stars.
- In 1503, Julius II, the new pope, decided to change several parts of the decoration of the Sistine Chapel. He commissioned artist Michelangelo to make it. Michelangelo resisted since he considered himself a sculptor, not a painter, and he was hard at work sculpting the king’s tomb. However Pope Julius insisted, and Michelangelo began to work on his famous frescoed ceiling in 1508. He worked on it for four years.
- t was very physically taxing on his part. He created a poem about how sick he was.
- More than 20 years after, Michelangelo was commissioned again by Pope Clement VII to paint the giant fresco “The Last Judgment” behind the altar. Michelangelo, in his 60s, painted it from 1536 to 1541.
- There are 12 large paintings called frescoes in the middle section, which were made by famous artists in 1481 including Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli, Perugino, Cosimo Rosselli, Pinturicchio, Benedetto Ghirlandaio, Luca Signorelli, and Bartolomeo Della Gatta that show stories from the Bible. In the north section, the stories are regarding the life of Moses. In the south section, the stories are about the life of Jesus.
- The painted pictures of [opes are placed above the stories, near the windows.
SISTINE CHAPEL CEILING
- The original ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was painted blue and covered with golden stars. The walls were decorated with frescoes by several artists, including Pietro Perugino, who painted Christ passing the keys to St. Peter there in 1482.
- Pope Julius II, who was reigned in 1503-1513, commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the chapel in 1508, rather than leaving it to appear as it had. Before this moment, Michelangelo had gained his popularity through his work as a sculptor, achieving such great works as the Pieta and David.
- He didn’t want to be a painter, but three years after he agreed to decorate the ceiling.
- He accomplished the ceiling from 1508 to 1511, standing on a high floor with his arms stretched above his head. (Most people thought that he lay down to paint, which wasn’t true.) Because he painted on wet plaster, the scent and the heat were so terrifying that he even wrote a poem about how sick he was.
- At the center of the ceiling are nine pictures that show the stories from the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible.
- The stories begin with the first three pictures of God making the light, the Earth, the Sun and the Moon, and the sea and sky.
- The next three pictures illustrate the story of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. The first scene shows that God created Adam.
- He reaches out his hand and touches his finger to give him life. Then, while Adam is asleep, God makes Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. In the third picture is a story that tells how sin came into the world.
- Finally, the last three pictures are about Noah’s Ark. They tell about God sending a flood because of human sin and unkindness.
- Michelangelo painted twelve big figures of wise men and women who were the prophets and sibyls all through the chapel’s wall. The prophets and sibyls were the ones who told people that God would send Jesus Christ to deliver them from sin.
- There were also 20 beautiful young men called the ignudi painted on the ceiling. Nobody knows what their purpose is, but possibly they are angels.
- After the ceiling was revealed, everyone was amazed. Giorgio Vasari, the one who wrote Michelangelo’s life story, says that large numbers of people visit the chapel every day to stare.
THE LAST JUDGEMENT
- Michelangelo felt happy as he got back to his sculpture. However, in 1537 Pope Paul III assigned him to paint another large fresco which is “The Last Judgement” placed on the wall above the altar. He finished the fresco in 1541.
- The Last Judgement reveals that Jesus judges the people of the Earth and sends some to hell while others are welcomed into heaven by saints.
- The figures of the painting are mostly naked, which made some of the priests in the Church angry. They hired another artist to paint clothes onto the Blessed Virgin Mary and various other figures.
Sistine Chapel Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Sistine Chapel across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Sistine Chapel worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Sistine Chapel which is considered one of the most famous frescoes in the world. This large chapel in the Vatican Palace is 134 feet long, 44 feet wide, and 68 feet tall. It is the place in Italy where the pope lives.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Sistine Chapel Facts
- Basic Info
- Summarizing History
- Sistine Chapel Ceiling
- Painting v. Sculpture
- Sistine Favorite
- Word Hunt
- Sistine Chapel News
- Visiting Chapel
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Link will appear as Sistine Chapel Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 28, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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