The Sistine Chapel is one of the most beautiful and most visited chapels in the entire world. Aside from being the Papal Enclave, the place where all the top bishops gather together to elect a new Pope of the Catholic Church – it is also the residence of the incumbent Pope.
The chapel is beautifully designed inside and out. Although the exterior seems to be a bit subdued in design compared to other grander Cathedrals, the interior more than makes up for it with the exquisite artistry. The world-famous ceiling was painted by the great Renaissance artist Michaelangelo in 1508. The paintings are so vivid in color and tells the story of Jesus Christ and his life here on Earth.
Since the paintings are very old, they are susceptible to dust and other pollutants. There were several attempts to restore the paintings, although it took a long time for it to be done, because using just any cleaning agent could ruin the paintings. Scholars had to study how Michaelangelo painted the frescos in order to find a way to safely clean and restore it to its original grandeur.
Today, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the chapel to wonder at its magnificent beauty. It has been open to the public and daily tours are common. There are some areas restricted to the public, which is the area reserved for daily prayers by the Pope and his retinue.
For a tourist like myself, finding a place like this so solemn and peaceful serves the purpose of a place to meditate and pray. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to witness first-hand, the great works of the great Renaissance artist, whose skill and artistic talent may never be replicated ever again. Gone are the days when artists freely roam the streets and create art to their heart’s desire. Today’s art focuses more on commercialism. Is it going to sell?
Having been here myself, I could say I have imbibed the culture and influence of the great artists. I may not be an artists myself but at least I can say now I know great art when I see it. That’s because I have seen the best works any artist could have produced in their lifetime. I am fortunate to be a witness to such great art. I hope the future generations of my family get to see this spectacle even just once in their lifetime.