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THE SISTINE CHAPEL AS AN E- MUSEUM
This blog has been profiling a number of museums that have adapted to the use of the New Media to make Art accessible to all. Now, The Vatican has posted a virtual tour created by students and faculty in the communication and computing science departments at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University allowing the Sistine Chapel to be seen in a way not possible even when you are there.
“The Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel of the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and others. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 1,100 m2 (12,000 sq ft) of the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling, and especially The Last Judgment (1535–1541), is widely believed to be Michelangelo’s crowning achievement in painting.” Source -Wikipedia.
What You Can Do With This Virtual Tour
With this virtual tour, you can zoom in on all of the images and features of the Chapel, and study them as long as you wish. The tour is entirely directed by you by a simple user interface, a button to zoom and your mouse to rotate the Chapel in 360 degrees, and at any angle you wish. The experience is entirely visual, there are no wall plaques or talking heads to distract you from the art itself. And, you can view the art as long as you like.
Try this: Vasari, in his Lives of the Artists, says that, “Michelangelo used no perspective, not any one fixed point of sight, but was satisfied to paint each division with perfection of design.” With this in mind, use the virtual tour to experience this device of the absence of a fixed point of sight for yourself.
THE VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL MEET ALL OF THE OBJECTIVES FOR FINE ART IN THE NEW MEDIA
As outlined in the Purpose Page of this Blog:
1. Fine Art in the New Media should be accessible, so that, “There is [virtually] nothing between me and my Michelangelo.”
2. Fine Art in the New Media should be interactive.
3. Fine Art in the New Media should be viewer directed. “I want to see what I want to see.”
4. Fine Art in the New Media should be able to be manipulated, which enables the viewer to use their creativity. to examine, adapt, and experiment with the art.
5. Fine Art in the New Media should be comparative, enabling the viewer to array pictures from different museums side by side to study technique, execution, and genre.6. Lastly, Fine Art in the new media should be able to be viewed as a continuum of man’s effort at visual expression.