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Glendale Church Members Visit the Sistine Chapel

Glendale Church Members Visit the Sistine Chapel

by Administrator on Sep 30, 2011 Arts & Entertainment 812 Views
Glendale Church Members Visit the Sistine Chapel

Discoveries by the
Glendale Church Members

The architectural design and decoration of the Sistine Chapel contributed immensely to its being famous in the Apostolic Palace. This is where the Pope resides in the Vatican City. Called Sacellum Sixtinum in Latin and Cappella Sistina in Italian, this Chapel benefited from the artistic expertise of Michelangelo and other notable Renaissance artists. The Glendale Church members learned remarkable details about the paintings on the chapel ceiling, walls, and other parts of the chapel's architectural design.

In 1482, the Sistine Chapel, named after Pope Sixtus IV, was designed by a team of artists including Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, and Domenico Ghirlandaio. Their paintings depicted the life of Moses and that of Christ. The Glendale church members also discovered that between 1508 and 1512, Michelangelo painted a portion of the chapel ceiling without taking commission from Pope Julius II. Since the dedication of the chapel, religious and functionary activities have taken place there including the Papal conclave (selection process for a new Pope).

Decoration – Glendale church members got a good viewing of the three tiers of the walls. The lower tier has wall hangings of silver and gold, and the central tier (painted by the earlier-mentioned artists and some Florentine painters) has complementary cycles of paintings. The upper tier has one zone with the Gallery of Popes and Lives, and the other zone comprising lunettes with Michelangelo's Ancestors of Christ. Interestingly, the church members were delighted to learn that the ceiling, as painted by Michelangelo has a series of nine paintings that describe creation, the God-man relationship, and man's fall.

Raphael's Tapestries – Pope Leo X in 1515, commissioned Raphael to design a series of ten tapestries for the lower tier of the walls. These tapestries were used to cover the side walls during very significant ceremonies. Then, as a young man of 25 and established Florence artist, Raphael was ambitious about being patronized by the papacy. His tapestries depicted events about the Life of St. Peter and the Life of St. Paul found in the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. In London, there are seven of the ten tapestries called Raphael Cartoons, and all ten tapestries were looted, burnt or scattered around Europe. Remarkably, in 1983, a set of these tapestries were reassembled in the Sistine Church.


Architecture – Members of the Glendale church observed the exterior of the church. They saw a high rectangular brick building without decorative details characteristic of the Medieval and Renaissance churches in Italy. More so, the exterior is seen only from nearby windows and light-wells in the palace.

Considering the measurements of the Chapel, the church members found the main space to be same as those of the Temple of Solomon. Also, there were six tall arched windows which have now been locked without, though in no way affecting the access into the Chapel. Likewise, it has a gangway that overtime was roofed to remain a continual source of water for the Chapel's vault. However, the exterior of the Chapel has been altered as a result of subsistence, cracking of masonry, and accreditation of other buildings.

A close but slightly difficult assessment of the interior showed the Glendale church members the general proportions of the Chapel. The Renaissance architecture reflected the Classical heritage of Rome even though absolute measurement was almost impossible. From the length, they calculated the width and the height.

The pavement, which leads up to the main door used by the Pope on occasions like Palm Sunday, is made of marble and colored stone. The Chapel ceiling is a flattened barrel vault that was originally painted brilliant-blue and dotted with gold stars as designed by Piermatteo Lauro de'Manfredi da Amelia.

A marble screen (sculpted by Mino da Fiesole, Andrea Bregno, and Giovanni Dalmata) divides the chapel into two parts, and this created equal space for both members and pilgrims or townsfolk. This was later on removed to accommodate those who attended the Pope. The sculptors of the marble screen made a projecting choir gallery available, apart from the ornate door of gilded wrought iron.




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