For those visiting Rome, a stop at the Vatican Museums is a must (click here for tickets of Vatican Museums to skip the queue). They are in fact one of the largest art collections in the world and visiting them is truly an exciting experience.
The rooms of Raphael, the Pio-Clementine Museum, the Art Gallery, the Gallery of Geographical Maps are all attractions not to be missed, but what alone is worth a visit is the amazing Sistine Chapel, work of Michelangelo and undisputed masterpiece of Italian art.
And just to prepare you to know this incredible treasure, we provide below a short list of some curiosities about the Sistine Chapel that you might like to know
Curiosities about the Sistine Chapel
- The name of the Sistine Chapel derives from Pope Sixtus IV, who commissioned the work
- The marvelous paintings of the Sistine Chapel extend for 1,110 square meters, roughly a sixth the size of a football field.
- It is not true that Michelangelo has painted his frescos working on his back. He worked on a platform he had invented, which extended over half of the chapel area and allowed him to stand up. The platform was moved halfway through the project. Michelangelo never had the chance to look at his work in progress from below, but he painted from a distance of a few centimeters.
- In most of the male nudes that decorate the ceiling of Michelangelo, there are many acorns, a recurring motif among the artist’s frescoes to pay homage to the name Rovere (Rovere is synonymous with oak) to which the family of Julius II belonged.
- The first Conclave that was held in the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace was that of 1492. From 1870 onwards the Chapel became the seat of all the conclaves.
- The doors of the Sistine Chapel were blocked. The word conclave (the meeting of the College of Cardinals for an election of the Pope) comes from the Latin cum clave, that is (closed) with the key.
- The first mass in the Sistine Chapel was the one celebrated by Pope Sixtus IV on the 15 August 1483.
- The Sistine Chapel is visited by more than 6 million people a year.
- The Sistine Chapel today as in the past is also used as a private chapel of the Pope.
- The Sistine Chapel is dedicated to Maria Assunta (taken to the sky).