Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Sistine Chapel

Palmaroli Vicente (1834-1896),
The Sistine Chapel, Rome 1865
Négatif verre, peinture (technique)
Paris, agence photo RMN, fonds Druet-Vizzavona

The above photograph was taken in 1865

It shows the then Pope (Blessed Pope Pius IX) in the Sistine Chapel

The source is the French website: Agence photographique which is a fascinating website and well worth some time to browse its pages and very many images.

It is not clear if the photographer is the same Vicente Palmaroli who was a Spanish painter born of an Italian lithographer who emigrated to Spain. Vicente Palmaroli was a distnguished painter who became a director of the Prado Museum. He had been a director of the Spanish Academy in Rome.

Painting on photographs was a common technique in the early days of photography. Photography was seen as an exciting development in the technique and history of painting.

The above scene is a contrast with the scene immediately below which is from a miniature in an illuminated showing a Ponitifical Mass with Pope Sixtus IV in the Sistine Chapel - well before Michelangelo did his works.

Italian School
Ponitifical Mass. Pope Sixtus IV in the Sistine Chapel (15th Century)
Illuminated manuscript
0.108 m. x 0.163 m.
Musée Condé, Chantilly

Contrast also with the near contemporaneous painting of the Sistine Chapel by Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat below

Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat (1834-1922)
The Interior of the Sistine Chapel
Oil on canvas
0.455 m. x 0.590 m.
Musée d'Orsay, Paris