Due to the “second wave” of the pandemic, museums are closing again and we do not know when we will next have the opportunity to admire the masterpieces of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. One consolation is the publication by Callaway Arts & Entertainment of a luxurious three-volume edition in 1,999 numbered copies, which bears the stamp of authenticity of the Vatican Museums. The 822 pages feature with state-of-the-art colour accuracy and printing fidelity the unique works of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Perugino and other Renaissance Masters as the world has never seen them.

Callaway Arts & Entertainment’s The Sistine Chapel – in collaboration with the Vatican Museums and the Italian publishing house Scripta Maneant – is the first approved edition of its kind and will not be reissued, which justifies its cost of $ 22,000. A team of photographers made more than 270,000 digital images during 67 consecutive nights, while the Sistine Chapel was closed to the public. Using a 10 meter tall scaffold to capture every inch of the chapel in gigapixel digital photography, the team utilized imaging software to seamlessly join together all 270,000 shots.

The art lover’s experience of the works as presented in the publication obviously has comparative advantages over the live experience. The spectator’s proximity with the works as offered here could not be achieved even with the best binoculars with which the visitor to the Sistine Chapel would have equipped him/herself. Exquisite details of the colors and texture of the works and the the artist’s brushstrokes allow the viewers to immerse themselves in the frescoes.

According to Designboom, Robert Simon, art historian and art dealer says that “now more than ever, when travel is limited and the immense amount of digital imagery fatigues the eye, these magnificent volumes can serve as a tonic for the soul. Whether seen as a triumph of photography, a monument of scholarship, or a luxurious asset, this is a work to covet and, for the fortunate, to own.”