A little Rome at home

An exhibition of Michelangelo’s frescoes opens at
MacArthur Center today
Virginian Pilot/Daily Press

For the next three weeks, locals can take a Roman holiday in Norfolk.

The Virginia Arts Festival and MacArthur Center are co-presenting “Michelangelo — A Different View,” which includes high-resolution reproductions of the artist’s famous frescos from the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

The exhibition comprises nearly 50 pieces by Renaissance masters, primarily Michelangelo’s depictions of Biblical stories, from the creation of Adam to Christ’s administering the last judgment. Also in the show are 14 reproductions of the “Quattrocento” frescoes that decorate some of the chapel’s walls, which were completed by Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Cosimo Rosselli and Domenico Ghirlandaio, one of Michelangelo’s teachers. Images of the interior and exterior of the Sistine Chapel are also included.

The fabric panels, the largest more than 18 feet tall, will be displayed in the former Forever 21 on the second floor of the mall.

The exhibition allows viewers to see details they couldn’t normally spot, even in a visit to Rome.

The chapel’s ceiling hovers 70 feet above visitors’ heads.

Michelangelo spent four years, 1508 to 1512, transforming the ceiling of the chapel, working from special scaffolding he created. He returned to the chapel and painted the Delphian Sybyl from “Michelangelo – A Different View.” The exhibition lets viewers see details they couldn’t spot at the Sistine Chapel. (Courtesy of Virginia Arts Festival ) elaborate “Last Judgment” on the altar wall between 1536 and 1541. Michelangelo saw himself primarily as a sculptor, yet the intense imagery and anatomical detail of the chapel’s frescos make them his most iconic work.

Tickets will be sold for a specific entry time. Entry times will run every 15 minutes, with a limited number of guests per entry to help maintain social distancing. Tickets will be available online at vafest.org/michelangelo or by calling the VAF box office at 757-282-2822. Tickets are also available in person at the exhibit by credit card only, no cash or
checks accepted.

Denise M. Watson, 757-446-2504, denise.watson@pilotonline.com

if you go

What: “Michelangelo – A Different View”
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p. m. Tuesday-Saturday, last entry at 6 p. m.; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, last entry at 5 p.m., today through Aug. 30
Where: MacArthur Center, second floor, 300 Monticello Ave., Norfolk


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