Results 1-10of 11 Reviews
by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
January 9, 2012
From journal Only the smallest in size...
Radlett, United Kingdom
October 16, 2009
From journal When In Room
January 20, 2009
From journal A Tour of the Holy City and Museums
January 6, 2009
From journal Five Weeks Studying and Touring in Italy
Los Altos, California
August 23, 2007
From journal Italy: Rome to Venice and In-between in 15 Days
January 21, 2006
From journal Rushing through Rome
July 28, 2005
From journal Italia
Cary, North Carolina
July 1, 2004
Seems to me that 12 € is a fair price to pay for seeing one of the most magnificent works of art anywhere – the Sistine Chapel. The time spent standing in line is worth it too – we waited in the longest line we found in Italy here, but even so it was only a 35 minute wait.
If you’re like most people – ok, like me – you want to follow the "Sistine express" signs that directly lead you past all the other art (which I’m sure is nice, but it takes about 30 minutes just to walk to the back of the museum to get to the Sistine Chapel.) Don’t be fooled by the other pretty ceilings – they’ve got Sistine Chapel explanations posted in these rooms for some strange reason, but you’re not there yet. Plus, if you can take a picture, you KNOW you’re not there yet – no photos inside the Chapel.
When you get into the Sistene Chapel, resist the urge to just look up immediately. My recommendation to you is to find a spot away from the door – preferably on the benches or stairs if you can find a spot. Situate yourself – then get out your guide book that explains each panel, then start from probably the most famous panel near the center – The Creation of Adam. (It’s the two fingers touching that you saw on the walls of almost every dorm room in college.)
There are guards in this room shushing people every five minutes or so – hey, it’s hard to be quiet when you just want to shout because a) you’re in the Sistine Chapel and b) because you’ve just seen something new that you want to share. It truly is awe-inspiring. How could Michelangelo have ever been unhappy with his work!?
The wall panels were painted by several well-known artists – but Michelangelo’s "Last Judgement" on the alter wall puts them all to shame. It depicts the souls of the dead facing the wrath of God. It’s a bit on the gruesome side – there’s even a flayed skin hanging in the air. Tidbit for you, Michelangelo was struggling with his own religious predicament, and it’s his face he painted on the skin.
The Sistine Chapel, at the very least, is something you should see. If you’ve got more time, enjoy some of the other artwork. If you’ve got two hours, skip to the end and see only the Chapel.
Open 8:45 a.m.- 3:45 p.m. – last entrance 90 minutes before closing.
From journal We Who Love Rome Salute You!
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
December 5, 2003
You enter the chapel through an unassuming narrow doorway and are greeted with a barn-sized feast of colour. Recently restored, the frescoes on the walls and, of course, the ceiling are vibrant and arresting. This feast of colour is added to by the mass of people craning their necks to study the ceiling . . . and ignoring the frequent ‘shushes’ that the attendants hiss in a vain attempt to establish a little dignified hush.
The celebrated works of Michelangelo on the ceiling and his Last Judgement on the wall behind the altar are what bring the crowds – the work of Botticelli and other reknowned artists can be found on the other walls but are largely ignored. The Old Testament provides the theme for the series of panels across the ceiling – all powerful in their own right with personal favourites including the Creation of Adam with the fingers touching across the heavens and the Temptation of Eve with its particularly devious looking snake.
And then when you’re done with that and your neck needs a rest give The Last Judgement a look. Tackled some 20 years after the ceiling, Michelangelo took some six years to produce this immense piece. Considering he was reluctant to do it he created an enormous fresco that feels very ‘together’. Michelangelo clearly enjoyed painting a fine physique – the damned look pretty good considering – and wasn’t above putting the odd enemy in their place with uncomfortable depictions. In the lower centre of the picture check out the angelic auditors – the book of the damned is worrying large compared to the saved.
I could have stayed for hours, despite the crowds and the jostling. Find yourself a rare section of bench space and take it all in. The stories behind the paintings are fascinating; Michelangelo fitted the stereotype as a moody, temperamental artist-type while the Popes who commissioned the works come across as demanding and distinctly ungodly at times. Stories of fights and tantrums, locked doors and demands with a little bit of politics thrown in for good measure. Come to think of it, sounds like an average day at work.
Get here early . . . stay awhile. This is one of the most visited pieces of art in the world for a very good reason and, like so many things in Rome, once just won’t be enough.
From journal The Vatican...riches beyond your wildest dreams
New York City, New York
March 15, 2003
From journal Enjoying Rome