I had the good fortune to see this remarkable thing recently. And I thought as I was in the Sistine Chapel something I’ve thought before and have probably pontificated about here at pontification central. (Checking I find this post for instance). Why are there not more facsimiles in the world. Lots of things can be made as well a second time as the first. Now a facsimile Sistine Chapel would not be the same as the real thing, but with some careful attention one ought to be able to produce something that is pretty similar to the real experience of being inside it and looking around. It’s not that large.
Anyway, the real inspiration for pecking this post out is this link which my friend (and occasional Troppodillian) Tony Harris sent me. As a choir sings in the background you can ‘tour’ the glories of the Sistine Chapel’s frescoes, zoom in and around them. There are some advantages over being there in the flesh, namely that you can really look closely at the work. Anyway, load it up and have a look and a listen and gorge yourself on its magnificence. I’ve just been doing it and reading a few of his poems. I’ll put one below the fold for you – translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
The course of my long life hath reached at last,
In fragile bark o’er a tempestuous sea,
The common harbor, where must rendered be
Account of all the actions of the past.
The impassioned phantasy, that, vague and vast,
Made art an idol and a king to me,
Was an illusion, and but vanity
Were the desires that lured me and harassed.
The dreams of love, that were so sweet of yore,
What are they now, when two deaths may be mine, –
One sure, and one forecasting its alarms?
Painting and sculpture satisfy no more
The soul now turning to the Love Divine,
That oped, to embrace us, on the cross its arms.