On November 1, 1512, the public for the first time tilted heads back to view the ceiling masterpiece of Michelangelo: the frescos of the Sistine Chapel. Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo in 1506 to completely redecorate the chapel, and he reluctantly accepted. He was, after all, a sculptor. But his reluctant acceptance lead to the incredibly famous nine scenes from the book of Genesis which adorn the ceiling.
In his book Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel, Andrew Graham-Dixon writes, "The fresco cycle as a whole radiates a powerful and sometimes oppressively strong sense of introspection. Looking at it feels almost nothing like looking at the real world. It feels, instead, like looking inside the mind of the man who created it." Reviewer Richard Cook says the book is an accessible look into the mind of Michelangelo.