Painting on a ceiling – the Michelangelo way


Can you imagine standing on a platform with your head tilted up and painting on a ceiling?

That is exactly what Michelangelo did when he created one of his most famous works of art on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel located within the Vatican in Rome. While the story is often told that he painted while on his back, this is not actually what happened. Instead, he was standing, and the position was so difficult that he wrote a poem telling about the difficulties of the position he used to paint.

The ceiling is 131 feet long and 43 feet wide. It took Michelangelo more than 4 years to complete the painting, which was made up of 9 scenes from the Book of Genesis. Michelangelo built a special scaffold which was attached from the ceiling, rather than the floor to reach the ceiling.

Of course, we don’t want you to be uncomfortable while you create art. To experience what Michelangelo did when he was painting the Sistine Chapel, you can do the following project – and since it won’t be for 4 years we think it will be fun:

  • Take a large piece of paper and tape it on the wall so that the middle of the page is at eye level.

  • You can use crayons, watercolors, pastels or paints to create your images.

  • Draw whatever you would like on your own “ceiling”. Use big figures and colors, filling the entire page.

  • Imagine that you were standing on a big platform while painting your image high above the floor.

When you are done with the image, take a picture and post it on our Facebook Page at Mothers Art world together with your description of how it felt standing up to create your art. We can’t wait to see what you share.


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