Talk:Sistine Chapel

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Who owns the copyright to the Chapel?[edit]

I was there about a week ago. We were told when we were on the tour of the Vatican, that the restorers were a Japanese film company and that in return for restoring the chapel, they wanted the copyrights to it. Can anyone tell me who owns the copyright to it? -- 17:53, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting question. Anyone specializes in Art Law / copyright who would like to comment?Biondanyc 18:05, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

They cannot hold the copyright to the paintings. What they wanted was the rights to film the process and copyright their images. Amandajm (talk) 03:13, 23 May 2014 (UTC)


It says on the main page that today the SC's ceiling was repainted. I find it hard to believe Michaelangelo did it all in one day; was this the day it started or ended? -Litefantastic 12:43, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

according to the article, Michaelangelo painted the ceiling from 1508 - November 1, 1512, so it was the day the ceiling repainting was completed. Gentgeen 00:21, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I visited the Sistine Chapel in 1972 and it was being restored then ... scaffolding all over the place ... and you could only view from a distance. So restoration began prior to 1984 ... by over a decade! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

If I'm not mistaken, Michaelangelo painted part of it to start off with, then when he was an old man (I believe in his 70s), he came back and did the rest at the behest of whoever was the Holy Father at that time. Maybe he touched it up the second time around? It's well known that he wasn't happy with how it first came out because of the colours, even though everyone else raved about it. Weird how the maker of the masterpiece thought it sucked. But maybe he re-did it for that? J.J. Bustamante 04:16, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Michaelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel when he was in about his 20's I believe. Then he came back as an older man and painted the Last Judgment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Apparently, they got it right this year on the Main Page. He finished it on this day. -- VegitaU 01:27, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


Under 'Architechture', "...the construction work was supervised by Giovannino de' Dolci between 1473 and 1784, ", I would hope is a typo!

When the error was introduced
30 Aug 2002 [1]
When the error was corrected
19 April 2005 [2]
Uncorrected for 2 years, 7 months and 19 days. Wonder what the record is?

also the dates given for michelangelo's painting of both the sistine chapel and the last judgement are inconsistent. once it says 1508-1511, the other says 1508- 2 november 1512. the last judgement once says 1537-1541 the other says 1542. can someone confirm the exact dates please —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Rapahel's Tapestries and the Conclave[edit]


Is it true that the Tapestries from Raphael's cartoons are only brought out for major events in the Sistine. Such an event is the current Conclave to select a new Pope ?

If so are there any pictures or video of the Chapel in all its glory complete with the Raphael tapestries ? Where can I get them ?

Thanks Michael

I have the answer Lagosman 17:18, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Delisted GA[edit]

Unfortunately, this article has no statement of references, so I'm removing it from the GA list. AndyZ 23:09, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Was clothing added during the restoration?[edit]

When I was a young school kid (circa 1991, I guess), I remember sitting in class and watching a news report on Channel One claiming that as part of the ceiling restoration, they were soon going to be painting clothing onto some/all (can't remember) of the currently-nude people in the paintings. They showed "artist's renderings" of the pending changes for a few sections of the ceiling, with all the former nude people now wrapped up in cloth like Jesus wears in traditional crucifixion paintings (like this one. I was only 11-ish at the time but I was outraged that they would do something so horrible and ridiculous; plus the "edits" looked obvious and awful. I can't remember much about the news report (it was ~15 years ago and I was in elementary school), but they made out like the decision had already been made and the censorship was going to be done to the ceiling in the near future. Never having heard otherwise, I've been upset and angry about it ever since then, not just about the defilement of such a famous artwork, but also about people's apparant apathy and ignorance because I never saw any other coverage or protests about the censorship.

But I just recently checked several Wikipedia articles, and I can't find any reference that this ever actually happened! Did it? The article mentions controversy about cleaning the grime from the ceiling, but it says nothing about painting clothing on the nude figures, which would surely be a hundred times as controversial!

If it never happened, then what was the deal with that news report I saw circa 1991? Were there originally plans to conceal the nudity that were later (thankfully) abandoned? Who drew the awful "updated version" that I saw on the news? Or is my memory completely faulty, and maybe I've confused the Sistine Chapel with some other work of art that was being subjected to a censorship restoration? 02:36, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

The Sistine chapel was indeed repainted to cover the nudity but this was done in the 16th/17th century. Dr mindbender 08:01, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Ok! I hope I'm not upset anybody, but i look forever on the page to find were to post this. It is actualy a simple quastion. I found this [3], and it says

The Sistine Chapel

As Pope Sixtus IV needed a chapel for domestic services he ordered the architect Giovanni dei Dolci to build him one. That was in 1473; the building was finished in 1481.

and on wikipedia it says

The architectural plans to were made by Baccio Pontelli and the construction work was supervised by Giovannino de Sweet between 1473 and 1484, at the orders of Pope Sixtus IV, from whom the Sistine Chapel takes its name.

So can anyboby confirm that or check wich one is right.



  • They are not entirely certain who produced the plans. It mmay have been Giovannino the builder. Dolci translates as "Sweet" in English.
  • The discrepancy in date is caused by the fact that in 1481 contracts were let for the paintings of frescoes, so the building was near completion, but its floors were still being laid and it didn't recieve a couple of "stained glass windows" until 1484.

--Amandajm 16:40, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Official name[edit]

Is the chapel's real name actually Sistine Chapel? Because it's customary to name chapels and churches after saints, not after whoever commissioned it. It seems like Sistine Chapel is more like a nickname for it. Everything in the Vatican has its nicknames aside from their official names. But then again, I recall reading Church documents that call it the Sistine Chapel and not anything else. And the Pauline Chapel doesn't seem to have its own official name either. Anyone know?J.J. Bustamante 04:10, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, gotta do a tiny resarch. The colloquial and most commonly known name is it:Cappella Sistina. --Scriberius (talk) 06:29, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

What is the origin of the name?[edit]

Is is named after St Sixtus (as in the guy in the painting "Sistine Madonna")? Or is it that, given sistine=six, simply derived from "chapel #6"? 05:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Read the article: "The present chapel, on the site of the Cappella Maggiore, was designed by Baccio Pontelli for Pope Sixtus IV, for whom it is named" David Underdown 11:45, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

But can someone explain how the name Sixtus becomes the word Sistine? Kingturtle (talk) 19:54, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Pop Culture References[edit]

Can somebody explain why this section had almost all of its info cut and was renamed? ptfreak 12:57, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Because they were trivial, irrelevant references. The Sistine Chapel is a well-known structure, and the paintings on the ceiling are common images. Listing every time they appear in media is neither interesting nor important, to say nothing of practical. --Eyrian 14:06, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm a supporter of the Pop Culture sections, but I don't think it's wanted in this particular article, because of the solemn nature of the article, and because the Sistine Chapel is so renowned. Compare with Lutèce and I think you'll see that there, it strengthens the purpose of the article itself to show that there are cultural references. Mcavic (talk) 08:31, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Use of Scaffold for painting the ceiling[edit]

The article states that Michelangelo stood on the scaffold he built to paint the ceiling. I remember hearing however, the he actually laid on the scaffolding with his back facing directly down to the floor for hours. The fact may have come from "The Agony and the Ecstasy", though I don't have a copy on hand to verify. Can anyone else verify? It's a testament to the man's dedication if he actually did. (Try painting anything on your back with the canvas above your head, if you're not sure why) MyOwnLittlWorld 03:46, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Common misconception, he did stand the entire time he painted on the scaffolding. Later that would render him crippled and blind, as he could not read books without looking upwards and his eyesight was damaged due to the falling bits of plaster and paint. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Glen Davis, art expert?[edit]

I really don't think that we need to have the opinion of a professional basketball player given equal weight with people like Vasari, Goethe and Werner Herzog. Unless someone can justify the inclusion of his non-notable opinion, I'll strike it from the entry. Bricology 02:50, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I have to second that sentiment. I was reading a serious article and then suddenly came across this silly interjection and it completely wrecked the flow of the piece. "I heard the man was crazy." What nonsense. -- VegitaU 02:18, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Division of frescos into separate articles[edit]

Would anyone object to dividing the fresco sections into their own articles than then linking to them from this one through summary style? It seems to me that all of them, particularly Christ Giving the Key to St. Peter, has enough coverage where it deserves its own article. Input on this idea is welcome though. Warm regards, SorryGuy  Talk  04:59, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Agree. The plan is to build them up to a state where they are substantial enough to be spun out leaving enough scope for a summary style fragment in the main article. They seem riddled with OR though. Ceoil (talk) 12:51, 2 June 2008 (UTC)


Cut these; leaving here for later intergration:

Giorgio Vasari (about Michelangelo's frescoes):

This work has been and truly is a beacon of our art, and it has brought such benefit and enlightenment to the art of painting that it was sufficient to illuminate a world which for so many hundreds of years had remained in the state of darkness. And, to tell the truth, anyone who is a painter no longer needs to concern himself about seeing innovations and inventions, new ways of painting poses, clothing on figures, and various awe-inspiring details, for Michelangelo gave to this work all the perfection that can be given to such details.


Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.

Werner Herzog:

Many years ago I went to the Vatican and looked at Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that before Michelangelo no one had ever articulated and depicted human pathos as he did in those paintings. Since then all of us have understood ourselves just that little bit deeper, and for this reason I truly feel his achievements are as great as the invention of agriculture.

I think the Herzog quote is trite, but leaving here anyway. Ceoil (talk) 13:37, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Moving here:
Colalucci says that elderly restorers were interviewed who had taken part in the restoration of the 1930s. They claimed that Michelangelo worked over the frescoes a secco. This and claims that he used "velature" or glazes as a binder were rejected by the restoration team. Colalucci says that Michelangelo worked only in buon fresco, then says that he had worked a secco, but "to a minimal degree" and "not at all in the lunettes", then talks of Michelangelo's "rigorous maintenance" of buon fresco technique, then describes the a secco retouchings that Michelangelo made to the shoulder of Eleazar and the foot of Reboam, which are both in the lunettes. He then says that Michelangelo worked in buon fresco with "no pentimenti proper", but only small corrections in fresco. Giacometti, editor, The Sistine Chapel'. Ceoil (talk) 00:24, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

New Photo[edit]

Would this photo provide a benefit to the article if it was incorporated? FSU Guy (talk) 03:45, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Sistine chapel.jpg

That is a very nice picture, it would be really nice if it was up there. MlgProGuy 03:30, 23 July 2012

It is used in Sistine Chapel ceiling. This was 4 yrs ago. Johnbod (talk) 20:02, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Michelangelo's paintings[edit]

There is this sentence in the article. Nor is known the extent to which his own hand physically contributed to the actual physical painting of any of particular images attributed to him. This seems to be mis-leading. It is commonly believed that he painted all of the paintings attributed to him. His apprentices might have been with him, but that does not take way the credits from the master. Should it be reworded? Phoe6 (talk) 06:53, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

If you can supply a reliable source then it can be worked into the article..Modernist (talk) 10:43, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
As far as I know (cannot provide sources), not all the paintings on the ceiling have been done by Michelangelo. In the beginning, his fellow painters helped out (but only a few months). --Scriberius (talk) 09:54, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Michelangelo's paintings II - switching of entrance[edit]

As I've learned just recenty by watching this youtube documentary (1:25 min. preview)The Michelangelo Code: Lost Secrets of the Sistine Chapel, the public entrance/exit has been changed after Michelangelo has finished his paintings. Did Michelangelo align the paintings in a certain manner, so if people come in here they see the first parts of the ceiling just above the visitors and then look further away?

Why was the entrance switched to the opposite side?

Both should be mentioned in the article I would suggest. --Scriberius (talk) 09:54, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Adding a Goethe quote[edit]

Should this quote be placed in the article?

"Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving."

Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 1787

--Scriberius (talk) 15:22, 24 January 2009 (UTC) modified --Scriberius (talk) 13:06, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Section about Perugino's Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter[edit]

Question: why is this section nearly word-for-word lifted from the Web Gallery of Art's description of the fresco? It should be entirely rewritten or just thrown in as a quotation from the source. There is some original material in it, but it's sparse. Plagiarism is abound. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mtoyama (talkcontribs) 19:49, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

frescos with have been finished and abolished by Michelanagelo[edit]

Perez - Hezron - Ram
Abraham - Isaac - Jacob - Judah

These frescos have been destroyed in the 1530s or 1540s by Michelangelo in order to have space for the Last Judgment. This fact should be mentioned in the article with verification. -- (talk) 17:12, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Scenes from (or of) the Life of Moses[edit]

The article haphazardly calls this fresco Scenes from the Life of Moses and Scenes of the Life of Moses. Which is correct? (i.e. which is (a) the work's canonical English name, and/or (b) a more accurate translation from the Italian).

According to Google, "from" is the more commonly used English name (with 25,900 hits for "from", vs. 4,640 for "of"). But that's hardly authoritative.

The article should standardize on one name. (If neither is more correct than the other, it would be good to state the fact, but then pick one and run with it.)

Erics (talk) 17:12, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

It should settle on one name, but which it is hardly matters - there is no "canon" here. In the comparable subjects of the Life of Christ and Life of the Virgin, only that portion tends to be treated as the title; the same is usually true for other figures like Peter, Paul, John the B. etc. Johnbod (talk) 18:54, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, "from" it is. Thanks. Erics (talk) 21:22, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

One or more portions of this article duplicated other source(s). The material was copied from: and others. Infringing material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:17, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

WGA is itself a huge copyvio mill, mostly from standard monographs. So long as we're sure they're not rippping us off now. Johnbod (talk) 20:05, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Big blunder![edit]

This article suffered heavily from the poor (or null) treatment of the other frescoes, including some VERY IMPORTANT ONES (Botticelli, Perugino, Ghirlandaio, just to mention some) on the other three walls than the Judgement's one. There was just one describing a Perugino work, introduced by the very POVish "Among Perugino's work the styilistically more instructive is...", which I've changed to a more sober and encyclopedical one. The other sections will be completed in a near future, so please avoid removing them. Ciao and good work. --'''Attilios''' (talk) 15:55, 3 May 2011 (UTC) its good but the is not same like the given phot they may be a true prophet jesus or a true muslim not more Italic textgod is very beautiful than all creations we looked — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:22, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Bmanary (talk) 00:46, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Bmanary Since 1996 there has been a special building, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, to house Cardinals during conclaves. The Sistine Chapel is now used for discussion and votes only.

Superscript on legends/ captions of images[edit]

Hi. I don't recall having seen superscript in legends. If that is so,then the legend needs to be rewritten to remove references to unsubstantiated "most famous". Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 22:18, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Please explain your issue more clearly. Thanks. 00:34, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Date of first mass[edit]

Corrected an error in the text stating the first mass was held on 9 August 1483 when other sources confirm it was on 15 August 1483 (The Fest of the Assumption). Changed reference to the Vatican Museum web site, so I assume that is indeed the correct date. Unfortunately, the 9 August date was erroneously used in the 2013 "On This Day..." feature on the Wikipedia front page. Wkharrisjr (talk) 14:38, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Deleted sentence[edit]

"The sources of Michelangelo's inspiration are not easily determined; both Joachite and Augustinian theologians were within the sphere of Julius influence. Nor is known the extent to which his own hand physically contributed to the actual physical painting of any of the particular images attributed to him.[24]" Reference: Andrew Graham-Dixon

I dispute the first sentence and have removed the second of these sentences as carrying the wrong implication.

  • The first sentence implies that it was Julius II who came up with the scheme, in consultation with his theologians. This contradicts the fact that Julius wanted twelve Apostles painted on the pendentives, and Michelangelo wanted a free hand. If the ceiling was based upon something devised by Joachite and/or Augustinian theologians, the source would be more apparent than it is. Michelangelo was a Renaissance Man, read the Bible and in his youth had spent time at the Medici Academy alongside the Archbishop of Arezzo Gentile de' Becchi.
  • The second sentence is beyond doubt true. It is, in fact, a truism. We cannot say to what extent his own hand physically contributed to the actual physical painting. However, the implication carried in this sentence is that Michelangelo had a large team working under him, who he merely directed. Regardless of the fact that this statement is sourced, the implication is ridiculous. When a number of people cooperate on an artistic program, then the stylistic differences make the different hands clearly apparent. The Raphael Rooms makes this abundantly evident. What we have on the Sistine Chapel ceiling is a remarkable unity of style in the manner in which the figures are drawn and the paint is applied. There is no evidence of several hands on the ceiling. Moreover, there are consistently-employed innovations in the technique (which I won't detail here) that no other fresco painter would have used, because even Domenico Ghirlandaio (the most competent painter of frescos of the previous generation, and Michelangelo's teacher) didn't use them.

Amandajm (talk) 02:23, 16 May 2014 (UTC)