The Sistine Chapel (Capella Sistina) is probably the most famous chapel in the world. It is located inside the Apostolic Palace and was built between 1475 and 1483.
It was designed by the architect Giovanni de'Dolci to order of Pope Sixtus IV. The initial purpose of the building was to create a firm in its form, fortified and practically inaccessible papal chapel. The building made of bric is of rectangular plan 40,93 metres long and 20,7 metres high with its wagon vault. The dimensions are exactly the same as the ones the Temple of Salomon gathered from the Old Testament. Between the length, the width and the hight there are proportions of 6:2:3 kept. The chapel seems to be a plain building without a façade, and is accessible only from the interior of the Apostolic Palace.
The painting decorations inside the temple was the cause why it became a pinacotheca of the renaissance painting. They were made, ordered by Pope Sixtus IV, by the best the then painters such as Perugino, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli. They depict the history described in the Bible. Because of the age of the frescos the chapel consists of two parts. 'The Old Sistine' are pictures on longitudinal walls, f.ex. 'The Trials of Moses' from the Old Testament or 'Temptation of christ' from the New Testament. Almost every masterpiece has its equivalent on the other side, f.ex. 'Testament and Death of Moses' corresponds with 'The Last Supper'. 'The Small Sistine' are created by frescos made by Michelangelo. In 1522 one of the walls collapsed what lead to the destruction of the most outer frescos but were recreated in next years.
In 1508, Julius II commissioned Michaelangelo to decorate the vault of an area of 800 square metres. The young artist considered himself to be more of a sculptor than a painter. They came to an agreement that the master will sculpt the tomb of Pope but in return he will also paint the chapel. Eventually, Michaelangelo rejected the idea of the Church to put images of the Twelve Apostles in aid of his own conception of 'Genesis'. The artistic process began in 1508 and finished in 1512. Into the fresco the artist incorporated a series of nine pictures depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis. They are placed on the ceiling in the chronological order from the main altar to the door.