The $2.3 billion new lighting system of the Sistine Chapel makeover is making the more than 500 year old frescoes shine brighter than ever before. The 7000 LED lamps, with a special colour spectrum have been designed taking into consideration the pigmentation of the frescoes to ensure they correctly reflect the original colours intended by the artists. Each LED can be tuned to a different colour and this has enhanced the viewer’s experience by bringing a natural glow and highlighting some of the lesser known works that may have previously been in shadow.
A new energy efficient ventilation system has also been added which regulates the air for a higher number of visitors at one time and is expected to cut the output of ventilation and considerably reduce the bills at The Vatican!
Read on for a bit more info on the Sistine Chapel.
The Sistine Chapel is a world famous chapel in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. Since being restored by Pope Sixtus IV between 1477 and 1482 it has served as a place for religious and other papal functions like the Papal Conclave, the selection process for electing a new Pope. It is famous for its frescoes that adorn the interiors and ceiling.
A series of frescoes were created on the walls by Renaissance painters including Botticelli, Perugino, Ghirlandio, Pinturicchio, Roselli and Domenico with tapestries by Raphael during the reign of Pope Sixtus IV after which the first mass was celebrated in 1983 and the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
It was under the patronage of Pope Julius II that Michaelangelo painted his famed masterpiece on the ceiling depicting nine scenes from the Book of Genesis. ‘The Creation of Adam’ pictured above is possibly the best known of these. He returned between 1535 and 1541 and painted the renowned ‘The Last Judgement’ pictured below for Pope Clement VII and Pope Paul III on the sanctuary wall.