From Vatican Radio:
Itâs been 500 years since Michelangelo completed work on the celebrated frescos that adorn the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. On the Eve of the feast of All Saints, the reigning pontiff, Pope Julius II, solemnly dedicated the monumental work.
Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, celebrated Vespers in the Chapel to commemorate the occasion.(http://www.discerninghearts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Elizabeth-Lev-300x225.jpg)
Vatican Radioâs Christopher Wells spoke with art historian and tour guide Dr. Elizabeth Lev about the significance of Michelangeloâs work. âIn a world where people are always looking forward to the next new thing, and the next hot thing, and the next novelty, that there is still a place where people look backwards and they look in awe at a tradition and a manifestation of what is clearly faith and art, is really quite an amazing thing.â
Dr. Lev speaks about the central focus of the ceiling, and its relevance for people today. âMichelangelo . . . reduced the story to the human figure. And you see God as an actor, God moving, God interested in that which He creates. Heâs physically engaged in the act of creation. I think to begin with, to see a God that wants to be involved is already unbelievably hopeful to people.â
The Sistine Chapel, she says, speaks to all people: âAnd then we see the centrality of the creation of man, and how important man is, and that, no matter who you are or where you come from, you can see yourself reflected in that ceiling . . . An innumerable number of people can look in that ceiling and see themselves reflected, and see themselves reflected as beautiful, as heroic, as extraordinary â which is what human beings are. And that makes the Sistine Chapel universal. But of course âuniversal,â I believe, is the definition of Catholic . . .â
Listen to the complete interview of Dr. Elizabeth Lev with Christopher Wells: