Loading
Sistine Chapel reveals light of God, Pope says on 500th anniversary
The Creation of Adam by Michaelangelo from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The Creation of Adam by Michaelangelo from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

.- The Sistine Chapel ceiling is celebrating its 500th anniversary today, and Pope Benedict XVI followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Pope Julius II, who unveiled the masterpiece by saying vespers there.

Pope Benedict said in his Oct. 31 address that he was marking the anniversary of this “liturgical classroom” with vespers because “the works of art which decorate it, especially the frescos, find in the liturgy … their living environment.”

“It is as if during the liturgical action, the entire symphony of figures comes alive, certainly in the spiritual sense, but also…in the aesthetic sense,” the Pope remarked. “The Sistine Chapel, encompassed in prayer, is even more beautiful, more authentic; it reveals all of its treasures.”

He also reflected on what it must have been like to see the ceiling when it was first unveiled on Oct. 31, 1512.

The frescoes exude light, but they are also permeated with the idea of the light of God, the Pope observed.

“That light, with its power, conquers the chaos and darkness to give life; in creation and in redemption. The Sistine Chapel tells the story of light, liberation, salvation; it speaks of God's relationship with humanity,” he declared.

Vatican Museums Director Antonio Paolucci described the Sistine Chapel as having “a fatal attraction.”

“It is an object of desire, that essential point of arrival … for migrants of so-called ‘cultural tourism,’” Paolucci said in an Oct. 30 L’Osservatore Romano article.

Despite concerns about damage caused by the presence of some five million visitors per year, he explained that the chapel will remain open to the public.

Dust and humidity from human perspiration can harm the paintings in the long-run, he wrote, but the chapel will remain open to a limitless number of visitors unless it increases “beyond a reasonable level.”

In the meantime, measures will be taken to preserve the frescoes, which Michelangelo spent four years painting (1508 to 1512).

“However it is necessary to implement the most advanced technological provisions capable of ensuring the removal of dust and pollution, the fast and effective exchange of air, and temperature and humidity controls,” Paolucci said.

No artist has achieved quite the same effect as Michelangelo, who “radically changed” the history of art in Italy in particular, and Europe in general, he wrote.

The likes of his artistic genius will never be seen again, he said, but modern art preservation techniques can keep his illuminating paintings in the Sistine Chapel forever bright.

Tags: Vatican, Pope Benedict, Vatican Museums


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
22

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43

Gospel
Date
07/20/14
07/19/14
07/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42

Homily
Date
07/21/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: