Postcard #15. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Robyn from Gold Coast requested the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and I’m glad she did, because it was definitely on my bucket list, however getting there was such a mission, that without the postcard request, I may well have given up.

I had to line up for several hours, but it was a lovely day, and most people around me spoke some English, so it was a very social couple of hours. We then all shuffled, single file, through the treasures of the museum, again for another few hours. There are many amazing things to look at along the way, including some Francis Bacon paintings.

Eventually we spilled out into the Sistine Chapel and boy did I get a shock. I guess I should have researched it a little more, but the ceiling was a great deal further away than I expected, there were also a lot more panels of artwork than I expected. The famous God and Adam “finger scene” is just one of hundreds of paintings on and below the ceiling and it took me quite some time to find it, squinting and craning my neck upwards to see. The other thing I didn’t expect was just how many 1000s of people I would be sharing this neck-craning experience with. Apparently 5 million people visit every year. I believe it.

The most disturbing surprise was that photography was not allowed, nor was talking. So there were several grumpy guards who spent the entire time “shhhing” everyone and yelling “SILENCIO” and telling off anyone with a camera. I did notice several people taking sneaky shots with their iPhones, so I joined them, which accounts for the blurriness of the image in the postcard, to which I’ve added ribbons and banners where all the apostles are voicing their disapproval at the noise below them. I do hope Robyn doesn’t think I’ve been too Monty Python, but the postcard certainly encapsulates the experience for me.

Sistine Chapel


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