Show with Copies of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Masterpieces

02 July, 2017

A new exhibit in New York City lets people get a close look at famous paintings by the artist Michelangelo.

In the early 16th century, he painted many walls and ceilings at the Vatican.

People can see more than 30 large reproductions of his paintings from the Sistine Chapel at the Oculus art center in the Westfield World Trade Center.

The Westfield is an underground shopping center.

"The Last Judgment" is one of the artist's best-known paintings. Michelangelo worked on it for four years. It covers more than 160 square meters of a wall at the Vatican. But, visitors are not given much time to look at the highly detailed painting.

However, at the New York exhibit, people can look for as long as they want. Lynn Catterson, an art historian, was among the visitors to the Oculus.

"It's not crowded. The security guards aren't yelling at you and you can actually take the time -- instead of trying to comprehend the whole ceiling as a very complex program, you can focus leisurely on motifs, different parts of it."

The reproductions are based on photographs by Austrian photographer Erich Lessing. They were transferred to cloth in Germany.

Scott Sanders runs the Oculus art center.

"This is a really unique exhibit because we're giving people the opportunity to see Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel up close. When you go to the Vatican, when you go to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the art is on the ceiling, you sort of move through it rather quickly."

Other paintings at the exhibit include "The Creation of Adam" and "The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden."

Catterson notes that she and other visitors can come as close to the paintings as Michelangelo did when he was creating them.

"I think one of the things to take away is people can really appreciate how monumental the style of Michelangelo is. He is empowering these figures to be heroic, including the women, and I think that's something we don't see so well from the ground in the Sistine Chapel."

After a month at the Oculus, the exhibit will move to Los Angeles, Sacramento, Seattle, Chicago, Annapolis and San Diego.

I'm Kelly Jean Kelly.

VOA's Zlatica Hoke reported this story. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

comprehend v. to understand the meaning of

leisurely adj. slowly or purposefully

motif n. a single or repeated design

unique adj. special; being without equal

opportunity n. a good chance or possibility for progress

appreciate v. to recognize with thanks; to understand the quality of meaning of