JUNE 19, 2021
Decades before Michelangelo climbed up on the nearly 70ft. of scaffolding to adorn the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, a veritable “All Star Team” of late-15th- century artists had already decorated its walls. Artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pietro Perugino, and Luca Signorelli were sent to Rome by Lorenzo “il Magnifico” de’ Medici to pay homage to the original patron and namesake of the chapel – Pope Sixtus IV – as a means of making amends after the failed Pazzi Conspiracy. This lecture will examine the pre-history of the Sistine Chapel and the early Renaissance frescoes that had already transformed the chapel into extraordinary decorative complex. Diplomacy by brush stroke was the language of power in Renaissance Italy.