This 3D 360-Degree View of the Sistine Chapel's Frescoes Is Jaw-Dropping

No need to fly to the Vatican, at least for now.

PHOTO BY Wikimedia/Jorg Bittner Unna

( The Sistine Chapel is revered for the mural paintings, specifically frescoes, that adorn its expansive walls and ceiling. So popular is this artistic marvel that even though it's located within the sacred grounds of the pope's official residence in Vatican City, the Apostolic Palace allows visitors to see the paintings up close. And even from home, you can see it too for yourself, at least virtually, through Musei Vaticani's 360 tours.

The Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere, who had the place restored in the 15th century. The frescoes feature drape-like paintings on the lowest part of the walls, the Stories of Moses and of Christ, and portraits of past Popes. The earlier works were by a team of Renaissance artists including Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Cosimo Rosselli. In 1508, Michelangelo Buonarroti was commissioned by Pope Julius II della Rovere to repaint the ceiling, which was previously designed with a starry sky by Pier Matteo d'Amelia. The original plan was to paint only 12 apostles, but Michelangelo went on to create more than 300 figures on the ceiling and lunettes. The frescoes now feature the Stories of Genesis—from the creation all the way to the tale of Noah's Ark.

Sistine Chapel
With the Vatican's VR feature, you can zoom in on any part of the Sistine Chapel.
PHOTO BY Vatican Museum
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PHOTO BY website/musei vaticani

Musei Vaticani's virtual tour lets viewers zoom in and zoom out on the Sistine Chapel's interior walls. There's also Vatican's official website, where you can check out the 360 tour from another perspective.


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