Glossary

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Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel in Rome is a papal chapel in the Vatican Palace. It was built by Pope Sixtus IV before 1481, when a team of painters from Tuscany and Umbria were commissioned to fresco the walls with scenes from the life of Moses and the life of Christ.

In 1508 Pope Julius II ordered Michelangelo to paint the ceiling, which he frescoed with scenes from the Old Testament, including the famous Ignudi. This was completed by 1512, and in 1515-16, Leo X commissioned Raphael to make cartoons (now in the collection of HM the Queen and on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum), from which were woven the tapestries to be hung on the lowest zone of the walls. Michelangelo's 'Last Judgement' was painted on the end wall above the altar between 1535 and 1541.
 
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