See an exhibition from the Sistine Chapel in historic Lambermont
In the 10 years it took to complete his murals, Michelangelo barely left the Vatican. Now, 500 years later, reproductions of his work have traveled around the world and land this summer on the walls of the historic San Antonio home in Lambermont.
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: the exhibition has previously traveled around the world to places such as the World Trade Center in New York, Vienna Cathedral and the World Financial Center in Shanghai. The exhibition contains scale copies of the frescoes painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Rather than being exhibited in one of San Antonio’s famous museums, the exhibition directors decided to show it in historic downtown Grayson Street.
“The head of our reservation department had this crazy idea and got on really well with the owner of the house Lambermont,” explains Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Attractions Inc., the production company behind the hotel. ‘exposure. “We’ve done almost every major stage in the world already. We know there is a lot of tourism here and we wanted to meet the needs of the locals. The tickets went on sale four to five weeks ago and we have already sold over 20,000.
This choice of unique location did not come without challenges. The 33 copies of frescoes, most to scale, were to be mounted over three floors along a spiral staircase and fit into rooms with narrow door frames. One of Michelangelo’s most famous frescoes, The last judgement, is generally presented as a 40 foot by 41 foot copy. For the Lambermont, it was necessary to create a new copy small enough to fit in the historic dimensions of the house.
“Our goal is to present you up close to the art created by Michelangelo,” explains Biallas. “The Sistine Chapel receives more than 6 million visitors each year. During my visit, I did not appreciate the experience itself. That’s how I got this idea. In the Sistine Chapel you are not allowed to take pictures at all. Here you can take as much time and as many photos as you want. We had people posing in front The creation of Adam reaching out to each other is something you could never do in the Vatican ”.
Not only does the exhibition offer plenty of photo ops, it is also meant to be much more personalized than a visit to the Sistine Chapel. An audio guided tour takes visitors through the biblical significance of each fresco as well as the experiences of Michelangelo painting them. At the start of the exhibit, a PBS documentary that examines Michelangelo’s strained relationship with the Pope plays. Elsewhere, a playlist of sacred choir pieces composed by Biallas himself plays throughout the exhibition.
“The music I chose to play is not from Michelangelo’s time,” says Biallas. “This music was … bleh …”
If you want a totally authentic experience, consider listening to Gregorian chants on your drive to Lambermont. Otherwise, Biallas and his team have put together a fantastic experience to transport you to Vatican City without ever having to leave the city.
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: the exhibition
11 June-Sept. 30, Thursday-Sunday, 10 am-6pm