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The Unheard Story of the Sistine Chapel


Jeffrey Bruno

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 01/27/16

Art historian Elizabeth Lev's "tour de force" TED talk on Michelangelo's masterpiece

You may have had the good fortune of gazing at the Sistine Chapel, but there’s probably a lot you still don’t know about it. Look no further than art historian Elizabeth Liv’s “tour-de-force talk” given at TEDGlobal in Geneva. Lev is a dynamic guide, revealing what Michelangelo was up to when he set out to work with a skeleton crew to create the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in just three and a half years. Lev describes how the artist “reached beyond the religious iconography of the time to chart new artistic waters,” and how, 500 years later, its beauty still speaks to us through time and geographic space. Even when gazing up shoulder to shoulder with scores of other visitors, we are able to look up and ask, “Who am I, and what role do I play in this great theater of life?”

Zoe Romanowsky is lifestyle editor and video curator for Aleteia.

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