Entering the space of beauty

The newly dedicated Christ Cathedral of the Diocese of Orange, California, is showcasing Michelangelo's masterpieces from the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

A place for contemplation

Full-size reproductions of the artwork from the Sistine Chapel allow visitors to sit close to the work and contemplate its beauty.


The Sistine Chapel was named for Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected.


During the reign of Pope Sixtus IV, a team of Renaissance painters that included Sandro Botticelli created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ. These paintings were completed in 1482, and the following August 15, Sixtus celebrated the first Mass in the chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which time the chapel was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Organizers of the exhibit hope that visitors who have never been to the Sistine Chapel will be intrigued and inspired to visit at some time in the future.

Creative genius

Between 1508 and 1512, under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted the chapel's ceiling, including the now-iconic Creation of Adam.

Awash in color

The photographs in the exhibit were taken after a comprehensive restoration carried out in the 1980s and 1990s; in some cases, color enhancement was necessary to match the images for consistency.

Sitting in judgment

The Last Judgment was the point of meditation for Pope St. John Paul II's Roman Triptych: Meditations. It can also be so for visitors to Christ Cathedral's Sistine Chapel exhibit.

Adam and Eve

The exhibit includes the scene of what may be the most consequential act in history, Adam and Eve's disobedience, which led to the fall of man, and ultimately to the Incarnation of Christ.

David and Goliath

Michelangelo's depiction of David slaying Goliath is one of many of the Master's works displayed at Christ Cathedral.

In the scene

One can almost imagine being a "fly on a leaf," witnessing the temptation of Adam and Eve, when viewing Michelangelo's masterpiece from the Sistine Chapel.

Michelangelo's universe

In addition to the creation and the fall of man, Michelangelo includes scenes from the life of Noah, other biblical scenes, representations of prophets, and the sibyls of antiquity.

Lasting legacy

The exhibit will run until January 11, 2020. Its producer, LA-based Special Entertainment Events, acquired the worldwide rights to the fresco reproductions from Bridgeman Images.