This Day in History: Sistine Chapel

On this day, November 1st, in history, the public was able to view the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for the first time in 1512. Legendary Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti finished his finest piece of art and it was exhibited to the public in Rome. Michelangelo was born the son of a government administrator in the small Italian town of Caprese in March of 1475. Growing up in Florence, Italy, Michelangelo was thrusted into the heart of the Renaissance movement. At the ripe age of 13, Michelangelo became an artist’s apprentice and showed extreme talent early on.

Michelangelo was a versatile artist, to say the least. Among other talents, he was a sculptor, painter, and architect. Before he turned 30 he sculpted two of his most famous works, the Pieta (1498), and David (1504). It was after he had demonstrated such artistic mastery that he was called upon in 1508 to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome. The ornate ceiling frescoes to Michelangelo several years to complete and feature a complex system of panels devoted to biblical world history. After completing the famous piece in 1512 within the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo worked as an architect in Florence, Italy for 15 years. He continued working up until he passed away at the age of 88 in 1564.


Have you seen the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel yourself? Do you think Michelangelo qualifies as one of the greatest artists of all time? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!


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