Up close with the Sistine frescoes

Visitors to the exhibition of the photos of the Michelangelo frescoes can photograph them at a distance not allowed in the Sistine Chapel.
Visitors to the exhibition of the photos of the Michelangelo frescoes can photograph them at a distance not allowed in the Sistine Chapel. PHOTO: REUTERS

Photographs of Michelangelo's artwork on the ceiling of the Vatican chapel are on display in Montreal

Montreal - A full-size recreation of the glorious Michelangelo frescoes that adorn the ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel - entirely in photographs - went on display yesterday in Montreal.

The 33 photographs of the frescoes will be displayed on the walls - and suspended overhead - of a darkened room in the Canadian city's Palais des Congres convention centre in a world premiere.

They were taken 20 years ago by the Vatican's official photographer during a restoration of the artwork in the chapel, where cardinals have elected new popes since the 15th century.

The frescoes in the actual chapel are so far above the heads of tourists that they are somewhat difficult to appreciate.

"Taking photos so close (to the paintings) had never been allowed," said Ms Veronica Redgrave, the spokesman for the exhibit.

"Even the popes never saw them from this close."

The exhibit will be in Montreal for three months before heading to Toronto and Vancouver.

Venues in the United States, Europe and Latin America are also expected to display the photos.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2015, with the headline 'Up close with the Sistine frescoes'. Print Edition | Subscribe