The structure, part of the Vatican Museum, takes name from the Pope Sisto IV who decided to build it inside the Apostolic Palace (1475-1481), next to the S.Peter Church. The decoration is divided in three orders: frescoed hangings on the base, the Life of Moses and The Life of Christ on the second level, gallery of the Popes on the third, all decorated by XVIth century artists like Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Perugino.
But will be The Pope Giulio II to commit the new decoration to the great Michelangelo. The artist started with the ceiling, that was originally painted as golden stars on blue sky. Michelangelo used scenes from the Book of Genesis wich most famous is Adamo’s Creation”, and also classical and biblical figures of men and women. Thirty years later Michelangelo painted the “Last Judgment” covering the previous painting on the altar wall.
The scene appears like an humans circle moved from the Christ power in the centre. On the left the dead raised from their graves and ascend to the judge; on the right people assigned to the Hell are falling downs with demons. It is a fresco full of energy and pathos that show the maturity of the artist. In this chapel happened and still happens the Conclave, the ritual for the election of the new Pope.