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Books explain Sistine frescoes

November 18, 2009|Associated Press

A series of four books presented Tuesday at the Vatican seeks to explain how Michelangelo and other artists translated the Bible into images to produce in the Sistine Chapel some of the world's most renowned frescoes.

The first volume focuses on Michelangelo's ceiling and its scenes from the book of Genesis and the creation of the world. Vatican Museums director Antonio Paolucci said the volume offers a "basic code" to understand the symbols and scenes that adorn the room where popes are elected.

"Everybody knows the Sistine Chapel, but how many can recognize the scenes?" Paolucci said Tuesday at a book launch just steps away from the Sistine Chapel. He said the book succeeded in clarifying "the infinite forest of symbols that are all linked to each other" in the ceiling that the Renaissance master painted between 1508-12.

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