The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of the absolute and most important masterpieces of Western art and was frescoed almost entirely and in record time by Michelangelo.
The work was commissioned by Pope Julius II and was carried out between 1508 and 1512.

How big is the Sistine Chapel' ceiling?

The almost 500-square-metre Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is 40 meters long and 13 meters wide.
There are numerous themes that have been frescoed by Michelangelo in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The main panels, placed in the centre, depict scenes from the Book of Genesis, the Creation and the Fall of man, immediately after the Noah's Flood.

On both sides, next to each of these scenes, are the large portraits of Jewish soothsayers called Prophets and pagan soothsayers called Sibyls who had foreseen the coming of the Messiah. These figures are depicted on monumental marble thrones.

The lunettes depict the ancestors of Jesus and the stories of the tragedy of the Jewish people. In addition there are smaller figures with putti and twenty naked young men called "Ignudi". In total there are more than 300 figures painted on the ceiling.

Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoed by Michelangelo

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