We the Italians March 21, 2016 - 77 - Page 30

st # 77 MARCH 21 , 2016 Even if the Sistine Chapel is inextricably bound to the name of Michelangelo, equally relevant artists frescoed the twelve panels of the chapel, way before Michelangelo was committed to fresco the vault. In 1481, talented and well-known Renaissance painters as Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Cosimo Roselli were committed to create a series of vignette-like frescos depicting the Life of Moses and – on the opposite wall – the Life of Christ: as if Jews’ and Christians’ histories mirrored each other. In August 1483, a great mass was celebrated and the chapel was consecrated to the Assunta Virgin Mary. At the beginning, the vault did not look like it does today. Pier Matteo d'Amelia painted a deep-blue and gold-starred sky – in the Byzantine fashion – onto Reconstruction of the Sistine Chapel as decorated by Pier Matteo d'Amelia (ceiling) and Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Cosimo Roselli (wall frescoes) in 1480s. 30 | WE THE ITALIANS www.wetheitalians.com