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A Flattened View of the Incredible Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Artifacts | November 16, 2016

Painted between 1508 and 1512, the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo is regarded as a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art.

Here's a flattened view of the ceiling along with a brief guide to the various scenes portrayed.

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Michelangelo painted in a standing position which put tremendous strain on his body and his neck. The painting technique he used was called fresco, where paint is applied to damp plaster. The chapel itself is 40.9 metres (134 ft) long and 14 metres (46 ft) wide. The ceiling is 13.4 metres (44 ft) high from the main floor of the chapel.

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Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis. To reach the chapel’s ceiling, Michelangelo designed his own scaffold, a flat wooden platform on brackets built out from holes in the wall near the top of the windows, rather than being built up from the floor.

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