It is commonly known that the spirit of renaissance laying at the bottom of the modern European civilisation contains in two symbols. The first symbol which can be considered as the initial sign of the new era of human thought is the Brunelleschi Dome in Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. The second one, which is the pivotal point of the unusual European period is the masterpiece by Michael Angel Buonarotti and other known artists of the Italian renaissance decorating the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
The masterpiece by Michael Angel which is a magnificent biblical narration in painting and expression of the two powers – God and human creative will – is 1200 square metres decorated with frescos showing World Creation and Day of Judgement. The whole work has not been recreated in the history not only due to its size, but also the characteristic for the master ability of connecting artistic vision and architecture in the consistent whole. The spirituality and definiteness at the same time in art remain unexcelled. Due to the power of colours and vividness of the characters the work of Michael Angelo became a proof of his enormous afflatus and artistic gift.
The publication reflects the greatness and perfection of the work of art. It allows on a closer look to the work of Michael Angelo and other artists. It reveals the painting techniques which were used and the artistic skills of the last Italian artistic craftsmen, who in the 1980s undertook the conservatory work. Thanks to the publication the Sistine Chapel can be watched from a short distance, as it comes to the customers’ houses as an open book.
The history of Sistine Chapel is fascinating and its knowledge makes visiting it a completely different experience. It has been enchanting and impressing for ages. But the charm is difficult to be spotted when you stand among thousands of turists from all over the world in the busy season. The chapel is visited by approximately 20 thousand tourists a day. There is an absolute prohibition of taking photos inside. These are not the perfect conditions to contemplate the masterpiece of the renaissance art, the work of the true genius.
That is why Manuscriptum Publishing Home, together with Vatican Museum, and the Italian publisher of the book, as a part of a special project dedicated to art connoisseurs that would purchase the magnificent art book, offer to each of the buyers an invitation for two persons to a cameral visit in Sistine Chapel beyond the opening hours in a small group with a Polish translator. We provide a hotel in the centre of Rome as well.
Our clients, the connoisseurs of Manuscriptum, this is the real treasure of our Publishing Home. That is why it is so important to us that you feel well and unusual even in such a place as Vatican.
Sistine Chapel is situated in the heart of the Vatican Museums. It was built in the 15th century and has the same size as the Salomon Sanctuary (41 metres long, 13,5 metres wide, 21 metres high). It contains two of the three the most famous frescos in the world (the third one is the Last Supper in Milan). It was built on the order of Pope Sixtus IV, and it was named after the pope. It is a very important building to many of the Catholics all over the world as a place where conclave (the election of a new pope) is held. Cardinals from all over the world vote for their candidates who is the most proper for the throne of pope. The voting cards are burnt after the election, and the smoke from the Chapel’s chimney is the signal for people gathering on the Saint Peter’s Square and it tells them whether a new pope has been chosen or not.
The artist created his work on the order of Pope Julius III and the work took 4 years. The work resulted in wonderful frescos, including the most famous ones on the roof of the chapel: Adam’s Creation and Day of Judgement. Adam’s Creation is the first piece of art that presents God in a physical form – it had been presented by a hand emerging from a cloud before. The artist painted God as an old man with a grey beard – he was inspired by Roman God Jupiter (Greek Zeus). The part of the fresco which shows almost touching hands of God and human remains one of the best known pieces of art in the world.
Day of Judgement is a sophisticated and refined in the smallest details piece of art. The central creature is Christ standing next to Mary, saints, and martyrs, some of who are holding the tools of their deaths. Saint Bartholomew is worth paying attention. He is holding his own skin in his hand and his face is the true face of Michael Angelo. And Minos, the hell judge, was shown with the face of Biagio Cesena – a pope’s master of ceremony who criticised the nudity of characters. It is the fact that the nudity was so controversial at that time that in the middle of the 16th century a painter Daniele da Volterra painted bands on the characters’ hips.
It has been claimed for years that not all of the frescos secrets have been revealed. One of the theories says that in the imagination of Michael Angelo Sistine Chapel was to be a bridge between Christianity and Judaism, and for that reason Jewish symbols can be found there. The Tree of Life on the fresco is not an apple tree as it is claimed in the Christian tradition, but a fig tree from the Jewish tradition. Some of the characters are in shapes of Hebrew letters, for example, David and Goliath – their characters resemble the Gimel letter, which represents power.
The Vatican Museum and a reputed Italian publisher of art Scripta Maneant combined their powers to create an extraordinary photographic record of Sistine Chapel in three volumes. Due to 3D reconstruction of the whole space and the newest software, Sistine Chapel was recreated with an unprecedented faithfulness. With the use of the newest technology, a team of photographers took over 270 000 of photographs during 65 nights, working from 7 p.m. till 2 a.m. when Vatican was closed. The outcome was combined electronically to uncover the frescos of Michael Angelo and other artists in an unparalleled colour and details. Then the photographs were treated with the use of software which includes the depth, intensity, and colour nuances with the precision of 99,9%. The works were collected in 3 volumes on 778 pages printed in 6 colours.
The three albums entitled La Capella Sistina in the limited edition of 1999 copies prove the untypical work of photographs. Each of the volumes in the size of 60x130cm weighs approximately 9kg. Some of the frescos were recreated in the 1:1 scale.