Monday, October 10, 2016

Italy Blog #56: The Sistine Chapel Fast Facts and the Jubilee Year Madness

In today's blog, we'll take you to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, which is connected to the Vatican
The "Last Judgement" painting on a wall of the Sistine Chapel
  museum. During our visit, the place was over-crowded. We learned that 2016 was named a "Jubilee year" which caused many Catholics to flock to the Sistine Chapel. Being an ex-catholic, I had no idea what it meant, and Tom, who fled from a conservative baptist background, didn't either. But, we'll explain it. Fortunately, we had a SMART tour guide who expected the crowds, so in the car ride over there, she pulled out a big poster and explained the famous painting on the Sistine Chapel - because we wound up pushing through the chapel VERY QUICKLY. It was way overcrowded. 
 NOTE: Photos are NOT ALLOWED- so we had to pull these from the Internet

What is a Jubilee Year? - A jubilee year is a special year called by the church to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins (so confessionals are open 24 hours Saturdays and Sundays in all Catholic churches in the world). The Catholic church has called jubilee years every 25 or 50 years since the year 1300 and has also called special jubilee years from time to time, known as extraordinary jubilee years. - Also, a dead pope or two in a glass coffin is brought up to the floor of St. Peters Church for people to view. (Eeeew).

Fast Facts about the Sistine Chapel  (Thanks to the U.K. Telegraph for making it easy to share these):
1. Where the Name Comes From: The Sistine Chapel – Cappella Sistina in Italian – takes its name from the man who commissioned it, Pope Sixtus IV: “Sixtus” in Italian is “Sisto”.
2. # of Visitors Annually:  Some 25,000 people a day, or five million people a year, visit the chapel.
Michelangelo didn't paint this on his back
3. Entry Fee to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel costs €16, an annual revenue for the Vatican of around €80 million (Euro) or £70 million (pounds) a year.
4. Sisto’s chapel had the same dimensions, as described in the Old Testament, as the Temple of Solomon on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
5. Sisto conducted the first Mass in the chapel on August 15, 1483.
6. The Sistine Chapel is most famous for Michelangelo’s frescoes, but long before Michelangelo, Sisto commissioned painters such as Botticelli to fresco the two long walls of the chapel: one side told the story of Moses, the other the story of Christ. Even without Michelangelo’s work, these earlier paintings still represent one of Europe’s greatest fresco cycles.
7. The pope who commissioned Michelangelo’s frescoes in 1508 was Julius II, the nephew of Sixtus IV. The English word nepotism derives from the Italian nipote, meaning “nephew” from the papal practice of favouring relations. Often popes’ “nephews” were actually their sons.
8. Julius II had his own plans for the Sistine Chapel frescoes – images of the twelve Apostles. Michelangelo dismissed the idea as a “poor thing”.
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9. Before Michelangelo began work the chapel’s ceiling featured a depiction of the night sky – a simple vault of blue with a few gold stars – by an Umbrian artist, Piero Matteo d’Amelia.
10. Michelangelo began work on the ceiling in July 1508. The completed frescoes were unveiled in October 1512.
11. The chapel’s paintings cover 12,000 sq ft (1,110 sq m), 
**AND this fact that you've likely always known differently: 
12. Contrary to myth, Michelangelo did not paint on his back, but on a platform of his own devising that extended over half the area of the chapel and allowed him to stand upright. It was moved midway through the project. At no point could Michelangelo look at the work in progress from below, but he was still able to paint images on a vast scale from a distance of a few inches.

NEXT: A Closer Look at "The Last Judgement" and behind-the-scenes facts

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next