Sure, you are! In Rome there are so many great ceilings to peer at. Visiting historical buildings and churches in Rome means looking upwards, thinking “WOW” and stretching the muscles of your neck! Joking aside, great ceilings in Rome are must-sees and amazing experiences you will never forget. As always, it was truly hard but we came up with a selection of 5 great ceilings in Rome:
The Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Made (reluctantly) by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, earlier than the fresco of “The Last Judgement”. The aim was to represent the history of humanity before Jesus Christ came. In the lunettes there are Jesus’ forefathers; in the middle you will admire the stories of Genesis; all around prophets and sibyls. Michelangelo, sculptor and architect, designed a huge illusionistic perspectival structure that separates the space in architectural elements, like lunettes and niches, giving order to the composition and boundaries for scenes and portraits. This solution will be an ispiring model for later decorations;
Discover the Sistine Chapel with one of our Vatican Tours!
Caracci Gallery Ceiling in Farnese Palace
During the last few years of the XVI century, Annibale Carracci, a Bolognese artist, and his collaborators were called to design a monumental fresco cycle for the ceiling of a gallery in Farnese Palace, now the French Embassy, in Rome. It is a homage to “The Loves of the Gods”, placed in elegant frames and architectural friezes;
The Salon Ceiling in Barberini Palace
A 2-floor high huge salon, which used to host great parties, is decorated with a wonderful fresco ceiling that will leave you speechless. Painted by Pietro da Cortona, it represents the Divine Providence that orders Immortality to put a crown made of stars on the Barberini emblem, the famous bees and laurelled crown. It’s Baroque time: the boundaries between the represented events and the marble frame are completely evanescent and everything seems so spectacular, dinamic and theatrical at the same time;The Nave Ceiling of Church of the Gesù
Made at the end of the XVII century by Giovan Battista Gaulli (called “il Baciccio”), a friend of Bernini, he opens the architectural frame and leaves the characters free of moving in clouds and light of “The Triumph of the Name of Jesus”. Gaulli employs rich and different materials (like wood and gold stucco), irregular and complex shapes to surprise and mislead us. Recently, a mirror has been placed in order to reduce the sore neck of viewers and enable selfies! Don’t forget to look up in the middle of the dome: the dove of the Holy Spirit flies in the light and is waiting for you to be there!
The Nave Ceiling of the Saint Ignatius Church
Made by Andrea Pozzo, a painter and set designer, this is one of the most iconic masterpieces of illusionistic ceiling painting in the whole world. The theme is “The Glory of Saint Ignatius” that is represented through a complex illusionistic architectural structure, multilevel for the first time, completely opened and revealing the sky. The result is so impressive you won’t believe your own eyes!
Visit the Church of St. Ignatius during our Caravaggio and Bernini Tour! When is the last time you looked upwards? What did you see? Have you ever peered at a great ceiling in Rome? Which one do you remember in particular?