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Glimpse Michelangelo's frescoes at the Sistine Chapel

October 11, 2011 - 2:25am
Glimpse Michelangelo's frescoes at the Sistine Chapel
For centuries, Vatican City has been a magnet for travelers, and while the tiny nation has much to offer tourists, the Sistine Chapel stands out above the rest. As the official residence of the Pope, the chapel features some of the most famous architecture and artwork in the world.

The chapel was finished in 1481 and has been a central part of Vatican City ever since. Perhaps the most well-known aspects are Michelangelo's frescoes that adorn the walls and ceilings.

The fresco in the chapel's vault is instantly recognizable. Michelangelo began work on the project in 1508 but did not finish until 1512. The sprawling artwork is regarded as a masterpiece of the Renaissance with The Creation of Adam, which remains a major influence in the art world nearly 500 years later.

Though the ceiling may be the most well-known of Michelangelo's works in the Sistine Chapel, The Last Judgment, which sits behind the Altar, is just as impressive. Painted between 1537 and 1541, the immense work is a startlingly comprehensive envisioning of the second coming of Christ and will captivate even the most casual art history buffs.