Massive three-volume book collection showcases Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in stunning 1:1 detail


art design

#art history #books #Michelangelo #Renaissance #Sistine Chapel

April 26, 2022

Kate Mothes

Millions of tourists flock to the hallowed halls of Vatican City to see one of the most treasured works of art in the history of Western art: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Peering 44 feet above the ground, visitors witness dramatic biblical scenes that unfold throughout the monumental painting as it spans the vast architecture. The only downside to looking at such a height is that it’s hard to discern smaller features and intricacies. The Sistine Chapel, a massive three-volume tome published by Callaway Arts and Entertainment and Italy’s Scripta Maneant, is dedicated to detail and features 1:1 scale images of the artist’s seminal painting in a limited edition book.

Reminiscent of how Michelangelo erected scaffolding to paint the scenes over 500 years ago, over the course of 65 nights, two photographers climbed a 33ft scaffold to access close-up views of the ceiling. The structure was put up and taken down every night to allow tourists to visit during the day. Approximately 270,000 high-resolution images captured the incredible characteristics of movement, contrast and expression that cannot be seen from the ground.

Printed in Italian and English and limited to 1999 copies by the Vatican – which has also stipulated that there will be no reprints – only a few English copies remain, although the price is $22,000. The 20-book set includes additional masterpieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and other Renaissance artists. (Going through Kottke)

#art history #books #Michelangelo #Renaissance #Sistine Chapel

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