No Photography Please!

Did you know that it is forbidden to take photos in the Sistine Chapel? Yes, it’s true, but the Khan Academy has created a simulation of the chapel so that you can get a good (and close-up) look inside. (Parental Caution: there is quite a bit of nudity in the artwork and some is shown in this video. Imagine that, nudity in chapel, LOL!)

Excerpt from A Child’s Geography: Explore the Classical World

A gorgeous spiral staircase, a parade of ancient Roman busts, and a magnificent statue of Caesar Augustus impress us as we walk through four miles of galleries in this maze of museums. As remarkable as the galleries are, they all pale in comparison to the lofty ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo Buonarroti spent more than four years of his life lying on his back high on scaffolding, painting these magnificent scenes from the Bible across 12,000 square feet of vaulted ceiling. The Creation of Adam and the Last Judgment are perhaps some of the most well recognized portions of the painting, but there are several more to gaze upon. Would you like to learn more about the symbolism and artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? The Khan Academy has a fascinating video about it here:

These paintings are considered to be Michelangelo’s crowning achievement in painting, a high compliment to this great renaissance man whose art is displayed all over Italy, Europe, and the world.

One of the main functions of the Sistine Chapel is the election of a new Pope. The cardinals meet here, as they did in the spring of 2013 after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, to discuss possible candidates. Smoke is sent up the chimney to alert the awaiting crowd outside of their progress. If the smoke is black, created by burning the ballots along with wet straw and chemicals, the cardinals have dismissed a potential candidate. If the smoke is white, created by burning the ballots alone, a new Pope has been elected. A candidate must receive at least two-thirds of the majority vote to be elected as the next Pope.

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