This amazing 360 degree Virtual Reality Tour of the Sistine Chapel was created for the Vatican by the Villanova University in Pennsylvania, USA. Click on the Vatican link for the original and you can move around it with the mouse held down and enlarge it to see the ceiling frescoes in perfect detail. A brilliant piece of work.
Michelangelo didn’t want to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. It was originally painted with golden stars on a blue sky and he was in a period of his life when sculpture was his driving passion. He also thought the commission was the work of his enemies, wanting to bring him down by demanding a job far beyond his capabilities.
Raphael, Bernini and Botticelli had already added works of their own. Michelangelo had other things to do but it was unwise to refuse Pope Julius 11 in the sixteenth century when achieving patronage was the highest ambition and losing it was ruin.
Boy, did he prove his enemies wrong!
I’m indebted to John Lyth for sending this to me.