A virtual Sistine Chapel

June 29, 2007

Last night I was bumping around a very famous ceiling. As I hit my head on the Sistine Chapel ceiling I thought about how Michelangelo painted these works. Yep I was in Second Life at a Virtual model of the Sistine Chapel

A second life note card explains:

This is a recreation of the Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina), located in the Vatican City. It was designed by Baccio Pontelli and built between 1473 and 1484. The interior is decorated with frescoes by Michelangelo and other great painters of the Italian Renaissance.

In this Second Life recreation, the interior is depicted in great detail, while the exterior is an approximation. Unlike in the real-life chapel, here you can fly up to the top of a wall for a close inspection, look down at the inlaid floor, or even sit on a window ledge!

The lower tier of the chapel normally displays panels with painted draperies. On special occasions, these panels are covered with tapestries designed by Raphael. Here, you can click to show or hide the tapestries whenever you want.

The purpose of this recreation, sponsored by Vassar College, is to explore the use of virtual reality for teaching and learning about art and architecture, by experiencing the context, the scale, and the social aspects of the original.

In Second Life the Sistine Chapel project is found in Vassar 165:91:24

Before you visit the Sistine Chapel in Second Life you could pay a visit to the Sistine Chapel on the Vatican Museums Online as you can examine the frescos in detail and read about them in order to situate the Sistine Chapel in a cultural and historical context.


One comment

  1. Sharon, I was fortunate enough years ago to visit the Sistine Chapel in person…this is so wonderful, however, to be able to see everything upclose and personal. Thanks for a great link!

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