Perhaps the most important point to take away from “Michelangelo – A Different View”, reproductions of the artist’s famous Sistine Chapel frescoes, is the colossal project that these paintings were in the first place.
By applying wet paint to wet plaster on the ceiling and walls of the chapel, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni depicted scenes from Genesis; prophets, sibyls and heroes of the Old Testament, and the spectacular “Last Judgment” with its more than 300 characters.
This work of the Renaissance painter and sculptor continued from 1508 to 1512, creating one of the world’s most famous art ensembles and most visited tourist spots.
While there is no substitute for witnessing reality in Vatican City, a Vatican-sanctioned traveling exhibition of fresco reproductions is on display until January 23 at the Columbus Convention Center. “Michelangelo – A Different View” serves as an overview and educational introduction to the large paintings.
The exhibit occupies Ballroom B of the Union Station Ballroom, with the reproductions positioned on the walls and floor. The floor is where visitors will find the scenes that are found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – the creation by God of the world and mankind and the fall of Adam and Eve from grace. (The larger the viewers, the better they can see these works positioned on the ground.) The iconic scene of God creating Adam, of course, is included, with the divine hand almost touching the human hand.
Panels on the walls of the ballroom show Michelangelo’s portraits of Old Testament figures such as Daniel, David and Goliath and Joel as well as other heroes and sibyls, including the beautiful young Delphica. At the back of the ballroom is the reproduction of “The Last Judgment”.
Upon entering the room, visitors will find reproductions of Quattrocento frescoes to their right, 15th-century works depicting the life of Jesus and Moses painted by Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli. These paintings were already in the Sistine Chapel when Michelangelo began his work there.
An audio guide presents all the paintings in the exhibition; an actor portrays Michelangelo and describes his intentions with each work. Viewers can scan a QR code at the start of the tour to launch the audio guide; headphones are not provided.
If viewers follow the audio guide numbered first to last, they will find themselves walking the room back and forth to match the reproductions. A better approach is to select an area of the exhibit and browse the audio guide to selectively listen to the descriptions. In total, the audio guide lasts about an hour.
Tickets for the exhibition are sold in hour-long sessions. Viewers can spend as much time as they want in front of one of the frescoes listening (or not) to the audio guide, making it a calm and contemplative experience.
Those lucky enough to have seen the real frescoes of Rome before will likely savor this reminder and reminder of the breadth and complexity of this Michelangelo masterpiece. For those who haven’t been to the Sistine Chapel, this comprehensive overview is a most interesting experience.
In one look
“Michelangelo – A Different View” continues through January 23, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High St. (Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Years Days, and Martin Luther King Jr. .) Tickets, $ 10 to $ 17, must be purchased in advance at https://bit.ly/MichelangeloCBUS. Visitors must wear masks. For more information, visit www.columbusconventions.com.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: ‘Michelangelo’ reproductions showcase magnificent works