The Last Judgement, Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel: A Limited Edition Book

A remarkable three-volume collector’s set presents the complete works of the Sistine Chapel

by Edel Cassidy
Words Edel Cassidy

This giant magnum opus features life-size 1:1 renditions of the masterworks of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Perugino and other Renaissance artists, reproducing the most precise images of the artworks ever published.

To create this Sistine Chapel trilogy, a team of photographers worked for sixty-seven consecutive nights on a ten-metre-tall scaffold capturing every centimetre of the magnificent frescoes while the Sistine Chapel was closed to the public. Post-production, using imaging software, 270,000 individual frames were seamlessly stitched together and printed as digital proofs. These proofs were then meticulously colour-matched against the actual frescoes. The final images are 99.4 per cent accurate in terms of colour. 

The Sistine Chapel, printed and hand-bound in Italy on Fedrigoni Symbol Tatami paper with white calf leather spines and debossing in silver, gold and platinum.

This enormous 61cm x 43cm (24in x 17in) 822-page creation offers the first-ever opportunity to witness the frescoes of Michelangelo and the other artists in minute detail, with images so clear, sharp and immersive that colours and textures can be observed right down to the individual brush strokes. 

Sistine Chapel Limited Edition page spread
Index of the third volume of The Sistine Chapel. The image on the left, a detail from The Last Judgement, depicts Charon who beats the damned with an oar, as described in Dante’s Inferno.
Sistine Chapel Limited Edition
A team of photographers worked for sixty-seven consecutive nights on a ten-meter-tall scaffold. © Vatican Museums.

The set has been published as a limited edition: there are only 1,999 copies, never to be reprinted, with just 600 available in English. Each volume weighs 11.33kg (25lbs), with a total weight of 34kg (75lbs). They are bound in white calf leather, debossed in silver, gold and platinum foil stamping. The debossed handmade Italian endpapers feature the pattern of the Cosmati mosaic tiles in the Sistine Chapel. Each volume is protected by a custom cotton sleeve, and a pair of white cotton gloves is provided for archival handling. Each volume is encased in a bespoke handmade gift box. A separate box, printed in white and silver ink with matte film lamination, holds the three-volume collection.

This monumental project dovetails with the ongoing conservation programme of the Vatican Museums, which has never authorised a publication of this kind previously. The three-volume Sistine Chapel is an art treasure in itself, something to cherish and pass on as a valued heirloom.

Each set is numbered with a seal of authenticity and is available to order at:

The contents of the three individual books are as follows:

  • Frescoes of the 15th Century
  • Sistine Ceiling
  • The Last Judgement

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  • ‘The Sistine Chapel: A Limited Edition’ is published in Anthology Volume 17. Read more features from this volume or buy it now.
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