ANTONIO PAOLUCCI TALKS ABOUT THE SISTINE CHAPEL
October 31, 1512, Sunday. For the last time Michelangelo comes down the wooden scaffolding he had installed four years before to paint the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. The work is finally finished. The large scaffolding is removed. Pope Julius II, leading a group of cardinals and dignitaries of the papal court, come into the chapel, followed by many artists, painters, sculptors and architects working at the Apostolic Palace, among the first are Bramante and Raphael. They gaze at the nudes, the prophets, the sibyls, the creation of Adam and the expulsion from Eden, the spandrels and the lunettes. It is not only the beauty and perfection that impresses them. Encountering colour combinations never seen before and an intricate twisting of bodies, they all feel as if they are seeing something absolutely new: from this moment on, painting would never be the same. “It is the beacon of our art”, Giorgio Vasari wrote. “He removed the blindfold from our eyes, leaving us all amazed and speechless”.