The Sistine Chapel Essay

Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel is one of the greatest pieces of fresco work in the Italian Renaissance. Every year millions of people travel to the Vatican to see this impressive work . Not only is the Sistine Chapel an attraction for art lovers, but for Christians the Sistine Chapel is considered one of the holiest chapels in our world today . However, the Sistine Chapel like any other works of art was designed to send a message to its viewers.Like most art commissioned by the Catholic Church, the Sistine Chapel was intended to elevate the standing of the church and to inspire church goers in their faith. However, the creation of the Sistine Chapel frescos is not as simplistic as those who commissioned Michelangelo to paint them intended, particularly The Last Judgment fresco. Through art history researchers have discovered that the frescos Michelangelo painted were layered with hidden messages. By looking at Michelangelo’s life and religious teaching of his day, and his personal belief we can determine what the true meaning behind his work was.The Sistine Chapel is located the Vatican, the headquarters of the Catholic Church. The Vatican is composed of the Basilica of St. Peter, the Apostolic Palace of the pose, and the Vatican museum which holds works referring to the history of the church. However, not only is the Vatican the location of immense religious history, it is also the smallest country on earth. In perspective it is highly ironic that the smallest country would hold the most wealth in regards to art history.The Sistine Chapel’s history began under Pope Sixtus. Elected in 1475, Pope Sixtus lived a lifestyle of greed and corruption. Ignoring the economic and political problems that plagued the…

…the Jewish themes and the heliocentric concept work together to show how Michelangelo felt. When looking at The Last Judgment one can feel a sense hope amidst the fear that fresco is intended to evoke. Christ centered in the middle shows his availability, no longer is he separated by hierarchies. Christ is with all of us. The Last Judgment artistically sums up the religious discourse that many church leaders, like Marin Luther, were trying to spread to the masses. Salvation is available to all, even Jews. No longer could the Church hold salvation captive, and this message was made possible because of Michelangelo’s religious and classical education. If he had not been surrounded by different schools of thought and pushed to think differently it safe to say that the Sistine Chapel that we have today may not have ever existed.

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