Publication announcement | Nouvelle parution

The Sistine Chapel: History of a Masterpiece

By Antonio Forcellino

Translated by Lucinda Byatt

About the Book

In this book, the art historian and restorer Antonio Forcellino tells the remarkable story of the Sistine Chapel, bringing his unique combination of knowledge and skills to bear on the conditions that led to its creation.  Forcellino shows that Pope Sixtus IV embarked on the project as an attempt to assert papal legitimacy in response to Mehmed II’s challenge to the Pope’s spiritual leadership. The lower part of the chapel was decorated by a consortium of master painters whose frescoes, so coherent that they seem almost to have been painted by a single hand, represent the highest expression of the Quattrocento Tuscan workshops. Then, in 1505, Sixtus IV’s nephew, Julius II, imposed a change in direction. Having been captivated by the prodigious talent of a young Florentine sculptor, Julius II summoned Michelangelo Buonarroti to Rome and commissioned him to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Two decades later, Michelangelo returned to paint The Last Judgement, which covers the wall behind the alter. Michelangelo’s revolutionary work departed radically from tradition and marked a turning point in the history of Western art. Antonio Forcellino brings to life the wonders of the Sistine Chapel by describing the aims and everyday practices of the protagonists who envisioned it and the artists who created it, reconstructing the material history that underlies this masterpiece.

About the Author

Antonio Forcellino is one of the world’s leading authorities on Michelangelo and an expert art historian and restorer who has been involved in the restoration of numerous masterpieces.

Publication Details

November 2022 | Hardback | ISBN 9781509549238 | Regular Price: CAN $35.95 – 20% off: CAN $28.76

Offer Details

To get 20% off this book, go to and use code PPBK1 at checkout.

Applies to hardback edition only. Offer expires March 31, 2023.

Are you an instructor or book reviewer? Contact to inquire about review copies.

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