The chapel takes its name from Pope Sisto IV della Rovere (1471-1484).
The construction began in 1475, a jubilee year, and ended in 1483.
The main entrance is preceded by the grand “Sala (room) Regia”.
The pavement mosaic is the old one made in the early 1400.
Famous Florentine and Umbrian painters, as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosselli e Signorelli and Perugino e Pinturicchio were commissioned by Sisto IV to attend the chapel.
Sisto IV nephew Pope Giulio II (1503-1513), commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), to fresco the chapel’s VAULT. The work started in 1508 and was ended in 1512.
The "LAST JUDGEMENT" was painted by Michelangelo from 1536 to 1541.
The fresco was commissioned by Pope Paolo III Farnese (1534-1549).
On the walls of the chapel are depicted:
On the left, looking at the Judgement, scenes from the Old Testament:
the first painting "Viaggio di Mosè in Egitto", is made by Perugino
the "Prove di Mosè", were made by Botticelli
the "Passaggio del Mar Rosso" was painted by Biagio d’Antonio (1446-1516)
by Cosimo Rosselli is the "Consegna delle Tavole della Legge"
by Botticelli the "Castigo di Core, Datan e Abiron"
and by Signorelli is the "Testamento e morte di Mosè"
On the right wall of the chapel:
by Perugino the "Battesimo di Cristo"
by Botticelli the "Tentazioni di Cristo" and the "Purificazione del lebbroso"
by Ghirlandaio the "Vocazione dei primi apostoli"
by Cosimo Rosselli the "Discorso della montagna" (Matteo 5,1-12)
by Perugino the "Consegna delle chiavi"
by Cosimo Rosselli and Biagio d’Antonio the "Ultima Cena"
On the vault Michelangelo’s masterpiece:
la cattura di Gesù
The pictorial cycle is composed by three shares:
On the lunette over the windows are depicted Christ’s ancestorsafter Mattew’s Gospel (1,1-17).
On the four ribbed vault are represented:
Towards the judgement’s wall:
On the central rectangles:
la creazione del Mondo
la storia di Adamo
le vicende di Noè
THE LAST JUDGEMENT
Michelangelo’s work is inspired by the biblical texts and Dante’s Commedia.
On the left of Christ: Sant’Andrea, San Giovanni Battista.
Down: San Lorenzo, San Bartolomeo.
On the right: San Pietro.
Down: San Biagio and Santa Caterina d’Alessandria.
Next: San Sebastiano.
On the top of the fresco are depicted the symbols of the Passion of Christ: the Cross, the Crown of thorns, the Column of the Flagellation.
According to the Council of Trent in 1565 the frescoes of the “Last Judgement” were retouched by Daniele da Volterra a Michelangelo’s disciple in order to cover the nudities. For this reason the poor Daniele was named the "braghettone" (pants).