Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie makes best wishes to the Sistina Chapel for its wonderful 500 years! Five centuries later, this masterpiece is still admired by 5 millions people a year with peaks of 20.000 tourists a day. The Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Assumption, owes its name to the Pope Sisto IV who wanted to build an opulent room to accommodate the meetings of thePapal Court. When, in 1481, the architectonic structure was completed, famous artists such as Perugino, Pinturicchio, Sandro Botticelli, started painting the side walls of the Chapel where, from the bottom to top, it is possible to admire frescoes that look like tapestries, Moses and Jesus’ life stories (Old and New Testament) and representations of the martyred Popes. It was up to the successor of Sisto IV, Pope Giulio II, to complete the decorations for which he called Michelangelo Buonarroti . At first Michelangelo, who already had produced at that time very important works like “The David” and “The Piety”, was hesitant because he considered himself a sculptor and not a painter, but then he agreed to fresco the Vault of the Chapel. He started his masterpiece in 1508 working on a scaffold 20 meters(65 feet) high. He painted a 40 meters(131 feet) long and 13 meters(42 feet) wide surface always having his head facing upward. On October, 31st 1512 Michelangelo “gave his work back” to the Pope Giulio II who inaugurated the Chapel during the Vespers dedicated to the All Saints Day. All the frescoes painted by Michelangelo reproduce stories from the Old Testament as the “Genesis” , the “Creation of Adam and Eve”, the “Original Sin”, the “Fall fromParadise”. The most famous is without doubt the Creation of Adam (who does not have in mind the image of the hand of God that lets the Adam’s one going of ?). From 1536 to 1541 Michelangelo also completed the decoration of the wall behind the Altar representing the “Last Judgement”. The Sistina Chapel has undergone an important renovation completed in 1994 which has brought to light very bright colours so much to completely change the idea (which once thought) that Michelangelo was interested in drawing than in colours.
Mr. Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, reminds us that this place so full of charm, both for the magnificence and for what it represents ( it’s the place where cardinals elect Pope), is nevertheless exposed to hazards such as dusts, temperature and the carbon dioxide emitted by the millions of visitors. That’s the reason why it is hoped that in 2013 the dream of using a new air conditioning system (that allows to break down polluting agents, dusts and controls humidity) becomes reality.
We really hope so…..at least for the next 500 years!!!
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