I get it that a tourist complaining about tourist attractions being too crowded is total hypocrisy on my part. But at the same time what I wouldn't give to be able to stand in that chapel for as long as I wanted just to look, all by myself. And now I can. We live in amazing times.
Be sure to look 'up' and use the zoom feature.
The only improvement I can think of is a 'link' icon that you can use to cut-and-paste a certain viewpoint + zoom so that you can show others specific details, and two more viewpoints at the end and the beginning (so you don't lose the corners due to distortion).
It often makes me wish for a non-religious religion -- just a refuge of tranquility.
Try this, if you feel like some really nice classical music:
Yes, religion was the primary patron of visual, sculptural, and musical arts for much of the period from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. But it wasn't the only.
And you'll find beautiful works among the secularist of the Classical and Romantic periods, say, the Pre-Raphaelites. Of whom neither the artists, models, nor subject are generally highly religious in nature.
What on Earth does that mean?
Clearly we both know you can look up "counterpoint" if you want to, so I read into your post you were a tiny bit interested but not so interested as to bother looking it up.
I'd hoped the shorthand would give you enough additional idea that you could decide whether doing so was worth it for you, the link between interesting patterns and computer science being hopefully obvious.
During his own time Bach was not even hailed as a great composer, his genius and contributions only gained appreciation long after he died.
For Michelangelo I'm not so sure, but for Bach there is absolutely no doubt.
Again: the Church was very different during the period than it is today, representing political power, a center and repository of education and knowledge, tremendous financial power, and a very active role in political goings-on. Again: it's really not particularly surprising that the Church was so involved in sponsorship for the arts.
Today those roles are largely filled by commercial interests, an insight which first came to me in the late 1980s as an early computer animation festival was touring through my college town, and I realized that many of the best shorts, almost all advertisements, were for tobacco and alcohol companies. Today that niche is filled more by the FIRE sector.
This brings a famous bit by George Carlin (I think) to my mind - ...It start's when we are kids, we are told to be creative and to colour within the lines... (paraphrased)
Monet struggled with the Académie des Beaux-Arts fot painting the way they thought people should paint.
There is a long history of Ballet dancers in the USSR who struggled because they good communists.
Today character assassination is the norm for for so many people (especially in the arts) who don't strictly adhere to progressive politics.
I attended an art school for time where I was frequently shunned for dressing well, (apparently you can't be an "artist" if you wear slacks and dress shirts,) and adhering to Christian principles.
Look at the movie Moms' night out. Highly panned by critics because because the characters are not "feminist" enough. Yet highly rated by the audience.
Michelangelo was at continuous odds with his employers during his lifetime, he dissected corpses illegally at first, later with tacit approval of some of the church bigwigs in order to improve his skills as an artist. It was a continuous give-and-take to see who got the most out of the arrangement.
In the end I think we, the future dwellers able to see his work no matter what caused them to come into being are the real winners.
Not bad for a man who declared himself unfit to execute the work because he was a sculptor, not a painter...
There is a very good book about him that I forgot the title of (I read it ages ago).
Wasn't it more like "declared painting as unfit for him"? Michelangelo had a strong disdain for paintings and painters especially Leonardo Da Vinci and his friends.
My only source is [this biography](1). Not sure how accurate that is.
The "standard" sagittal section as in this image (i.imgur.com/ZTvy55n.jpg), or this image (i.imgur.com/73YdDXa.jpg) is chosen precisely because it shows in one image several important features of the brain, and is also recapitulated nicely by MRI images, as you mention.
However, there is no reason why Michelangelo would know anything about the different regions of the brain and therefore choose a representation that showed them.
A "fresh" human brain (which is what Michelangelo would have seen) looks like this (i.imgur.com/KXBLtrx.jpg), or this (i.imgur.com/Bm5l8n6.jpg), and without further dissection do not look much like his paintings.
Such brains can be further sectioned in any number of ways, none of which are necessarily obvious. The question then is would Michelangelo have dissected brains in the same way as is now done?
The inside of the skull is not shaping the skull in a way that it will come out 'wrong' if you don't know about what's in the skull.
When looking at the chapel I see a large number of religious figures and imagery, so it seems odd to say that art depicting religious subjects, in a religious setting, sponsored by a religious patron was not inspired by Christianity.
"Inspired" implies that the artist woke up with an idea and painted it.
I'm pretty sure the reigning pope approved of the design, both from an execution perspective as from the content itself.
But if he had done the job according to the normal way of decorating ceilings in that day we likely would not be having this discussion. It really is a masterpiece.
Have you looked into Buddhism yet? Because that's exactly one of the ways I'd describe it--a non-religion whose focus is on tranquility.
If you haven't looked into yet, this is a great easy-to-read book to start with: http://www.amazon.com/Peace-Every-Step-Mindfulness-Everyday/...
The reason white people invented Buddhism 150 years ago or whenever was explicitly to be a religion. This was in order to provide an argument against western imperialism, among other reasons.
I haven't read the books he cites, but if you listen to the Buddhist Geeks podcast (and really everyone should) then the differences between modern buddhism(s) and traditional buddhism(s) is a recurring theme.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers are the closest thing we have to Buddhism in the Americas.
Trying to figure out how we can mash a joke out of Quaker Oats  and a Skinner Box .
Like Buddhism? Try chilling in a Tibetan high altitude monastery someday.
You can feel tranquil and at peace with yourself in non-Buddhist areas too.
How about belief in logic? Like the Vulcans ;)
Copyright is maddening sometimes. 
1 - http://mentalfloss.com/article/54641/reason-why-no-photograp...
So that's a good thing for a bad reason and I totally sympathize with the position of the stewards of this amazing work.
I have a super nice story about this but I'm actually somewhat hesitant to tell it in detail in public, but I once discharged about a few 10's MW/m^2 of light concentrated on a very small part of a very famous painting.
How I got away with that will have to remain an untold story, but let's just say that my consultancy endeavours take me to interesting places and allow me to do interesting things.
Perhaps that's expecting too much from the average tourist, but still, I found it cool.
> I suppose some people don't know how to turn it off
I would argue that a majority of people either wilfully ignore this instruction or don't know how to do it.
Has anyone actually done the math on this? Or is it just a social hack used by museum guards to dodge the real reason for the policy, which is to keep the gift shop in business?
Sunlight is about 1 KW/square meter on a non-cloudy day at noon, directly from above.
4% of that is a typical value for the UV component.
So the UV power hitting a 1 square meter surface at noon is about 40 Watts.
Photographic flash is on the order of a millisecond give or take, and power output of a typical flash during that millisecond is 100 Ws, or 100 KW/ms. Depending on how far away you are from the work of art you're putting for every 10 flashes then the equivalent of about of a second of exposure to the sun on the totality of the work (much more than 1 square meter, so you have to divide by the total surface). In the case of the chapel all the light discharged in the chapel will hit the object somewhere so apart from atmospheric effects (likely small) you can assume all of that light would contribute to the fading.
So every 10,000 tourists passing through and making one picture each with flash on is the equivalent of about 1000 second's worth of exposure to direct sunlight (think of a window of one square meter opening for 1000 seconds once per day), all this assuming that the flash contains an equivalent amount of UV as sunlight which likely is not the case. About 20,000 tourists per day pass through during the peak of the season, so on such days that's the equivalent of 2000 such seconds of the open window.
So at a guess, this is probably not too much of a problem, unless the pigments used break down very easily. (Blue is usually the most stable, with other pigments being more susceptible to fading)
What would be a problem is the fact that if all these people are discharging their flashes all the time that this seriously interferes with the ability of others who do not engage in such annoying reproductive behaviour to appreciate what they are looking at.
edit: fixed some of the math
This shows an LED light spectrum with one cool white LED. The warmer colors have even less of the 450nm peak.
(click on "Actual Brightness" to see the spectrum in mW instead of lumens, I didn't implement that in the URL header yet)
Unfortunately, the guards stationed there like to yell at tourists even if their flashes are off, so I suspect most people don't understand the reasoning.
I don't see why you would bother taking photos anyway. Go in and enjoy it. In a place so crowded your unlikely to get a good photo and there are plenty of photos already online for you to look at.
There's hundreds of photos of the crap you're taking photos off. Just enjoy the moment and make it less touristy for everyone around you as well.
It smells like sweaty humans being herded through like cattle as quickly as possible.
If you love history and art, then sure, it's 100% worth it. Otherwise, I'd skip it. (caveat: if you do, you will have to deal with everyone you ever meet chastising you for skipping it.)
P.S. Tourists are worse at Pisa.
> Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded. - Yogi Bera
The click+drag view control feels inverted to me. I'm curious whether I'm in the minority, though. For FPS games on PC I use normal mouse, but for console FPS games I use inverted joystick.
This is more like a virtual joystick. Clicking and holding establishes the neutral point of the joystick, and the cursor position relative to the neutral point is the velocity vector of camera movement. It behaves the same as the right hand joystick in a console FPS like Halo with a traditional (non-inverted) control scheme.
You know who's responsible for that? Google Maps (specifically Street View). There used to be a bunch of different 360° Java applets and QuickTime VR embeds that did it this way; now they all feel backwards.
I wasn't fond about the forced orientation. If I tried to look at the paintings "above" The Creation of Man, I had to rotate, meaning four or so panels could only be viewed upside-down.
more Saint Peter VR-Tours: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_pietro/vr_tour/i...
more Vatican VR-Tours:
Special thanks to Villanova University in Pennsylvania (USA)
for its contribution to the realization of the Virtual
Reality Tour of the Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel HTML file contains some commented text:
Photography: Chad Fahs & Paul Wilson, Villanova Department of Communication
Stitching & Image Correction: Chad Fahs & Paul Wilson
iOS conversion of the entire site is done courtesy of
the Villanova Center of Excellence in Enterprise Technology
and the Villanova Computer Science Department
I think (1508) would be more appropriate.
(from the source: Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli - 5. BenedictusTP1(Simon Preston: Westminster Abbey ChoirTCM"Giovanni Pierluigi Da PalestrinaTAL6Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli - Allegri: Miserere)
This was not the tourist exit, and inside there were huge beautiful golden hallways with exquisite paintings all around.
Does anyone know if this part of the chapel is visible or recorded anywhere?
For the life of me I can't find verification of this online, though, so hopefully Mr. J (my APAH teacher) wasn't just making it up.
Edit: Ahh wait, I think you were talking about a different door. Mine is a smaller black door in the lower right of The Last Judgement.
What you can't get from your computer screen is the scale of it all. You can intellectually get it by looking around at reference points in the image, but you can't feel it the way you can when you are there.
This would be especially true if one had a similar view of St. Peter's. There's almost no way to convey the sheer enormity of it without actually physically being there. That's one of the things I remember the most from my visit: that feeling of being so tiny inside this massive, ornate indoor space that is so big, there's a haze when you look from end to end.
You just need to take a two image panorama photo to begin with.
I've seen a few 3D 360 videos in my Oculus Rift. There is little doubt that in the future instead of shooting 2D photos we will be capture 3D 360 degree video with geometry data. Imagine strapping on the headset and seeing yourself as a toddler taking your first steps. Pretty wild stuff.
(It was a serious programme about art history BTW, not some conspiracy nonsense. Wish I could remember the name.)
My painting is dead.
Defend it for me, Giovanni, protect my honor.
I am not in the right place—I am not a painter
Use the scroll wheel on your mouse.
I was using the touchpad on my laptop and it wasn't responding so I assumed it could zoom. Just tried it with my mouse and it works perfect.
It's worth an experience - the potential of something like the Oculus to mass-produce the experience of being there is fantastic.
Another way to think of it: Miley Cyrus is actually more covered than many of the characters in the Sistine Chapel.
At the very least, they don't do any close ups.
Re: What would fit on American television today.
Pretty specious argument. Just because something was appropriate in the 1400s, doesn't mean we have to find it appropriate today. We also don't find hanging people in public squares appropriate anymore, or a million other things...
There are arguments to be made in favor of allowing more nudity on television. "They used to do it back in the day" is not one of the good ones.
That means current church dogma is just temporary ... it has no 'absolute validity' in it, which is even worse than allowing the nude pics. Or current theology is just creative thinking that happened in-between then and now. Why should a religious man submit to recent theology instead of the original Christian theology of 2000 years ago?
http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/index_en.html (English page)
As a total atheist I would still very much want to make room for the people who are using that place for its original purpose as opposed to me, who just comes to appreciate the work of the man that spent an appreciable part of his life creating one of our most important works of art. Even though they could do what they're doing anywhere and I could do (until I saw this link) what I'm doing only there.
Your contention is that the Sistine Chapel¹ is not a place dedicated by Christians to the glorification of God? Like it's not, say, a chapel? And they don't have art work depicting the lives of important people in the Christian faith, or imagery that Christians might use as part of their worship.
When the Sistine Chapel choir sings the Miserere, say, to assembled members of the Roman Catholic church, you don't think that maybe, just maybe that means that the people who own the building consider it to be - perhaps - just a tiny bit of a building for religious devotion ... now what's that word, oh yeah, perhaps they consider it to be a chapel.
Would you go to a Mosque, perhaps the Great Mosque in Istanbul, and say "people shouldn't be imposing their religion on me, like, just because I came to a mosque".
"Why should I respect your beliefs as a Christian when I choose to visit a Christian chapel" is that really your considered opinion?
TBH if it weren't for your long standing on this site I'd have dismissed your comment as an obvious troll.
Now if I go picking apart your need to hide from God, your desire to run from the truth, your imposition of your beliefs on others in an affront to the truth ... I'm guessing you're going to consider that this isn't really the appropriate forum for such a conversation, that I'm being crass and troll-like, no? Perhaps you'll start by telling me you're only interested in the truth despite your "not a place of worship" claim being the most obvious of falsehoods and putting the lie to such a notion ...
- - -
¹ - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUQyLXKdF_M Roman Catholic mass being celebrated in the Sistine Chapel, March 2013.
They don't use it as one, at least most of the time. There are too many people passing through for it to be a place of worship or reflection. Once you start selling entry to tourists you lose the right to demand they do something other than tourism, IMO.
If they really wanted to keep it as a place of worship they'd close it to the unbaptized and allow free entry (as is done with the Kaaba IIRC). Of course, that would be much less profitable.
Second point: The Kaaba, in Mecca is only accessible to Muslims. There are Umrah/Hajj costs to pay to get anywhere near the Kaaba.
> Now if I go picking apart your need to hide from God
Don't be a fool, I'm not hiding from something that doesn't exist. I don't have any "needs" related to your delusions.
I am not sure if you have "delusions of a creator" but you sure seem to have other delusions.
Some people on Hacker News are honestly embarrassingly retarded.
> Some people on Hacker News are honestly embarrassingly retarded.
Yes, you are.
Well, just jacquesm, I simpathize with the stewards: "please, no flash" :(
Also, who knew, the Vatican knows how to hire good software engineers. I guess they did hire Michelangelo too though.
The experience of being in the sistine chapel is nice but a bit spoiled by the fact that there are hundreds of tourists in the chapel as well and Italian guards are pushing you to move and be in the center (Often yelling at tourist who aren't moving fast enough and throwing out of the chapel anyone trying to take a picture).
The evening tours are seasonal I believe.
Very, very beautiful site though and wonderfully fresh idea coming from such an arcane institution. I like it a lot.
Before that it was almost completely black from soot and smoke.
According to Google "The frescoes of the Sistine Chapel and in particular the ceiling and accompanying lunettes by Michelangelo have been subject to a number of restorations, the most recent taking place between 1980 and 1994."
I am flash impaired.
Here's one excerpt, "Raised in the Georgian Orthodox faith, Stalin became an atheist. He followed the position that religion was an opiate that needed to be removed in order to construct the ideal communist society. His government promoted atheism through special atheistic education in schools, anti-religious propaganda, the anti-religious work of public institutions (Society of the Godless), discriminatory laws, and a terror campaign against religious believers. By the late 1930s, it had become dangerous to be publicly associated with religion."
HN is at absolutely no risk of becoming Christian News because of this particular link. If anything it shows that even the Vatican can go with the times, which means there is hope of further enlightenment in the future.
You slave away day in day out through illness, injury and 1000 anxieties but, as someone once said... artists ship :)