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All 12 tapestries designed by Renaissance artist Raphael are exhibited in the Sistine Chapel

In the early 16th century Renaissance pioneers Michelangelo and Raphael repressed to be recognized as the great artist of their time.

And half a millennia later, the two rival Italian ‘masters’ will once again compete for attention after 12 tapestries were designed by Raphael hung on the walls of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.

It is the first time in centuries that the works of Raphael have been placed in the royal residence of the pope in the Vatican to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.

The tapestries, woven in Brussels by the famous workshop of Pieter van Aelst from the sketches of Raphael, show scenes from the Acts of the Apostles, such as The Stoning of St. Stephen and St. Paul Preaching in Athens.

The following week they are back in the chapel, where they were between the time Michelangelo painted the ceiling in 1512 and when he started painting the massive wall of the Last Judgment behind the main altar in 1536.

Gloved staff wearing protective suits were pictured today as they slide rolled up tapestries into the chapel before subtly unrolling them on the floor.

A tapestry of cartoons of The Acts of the Apostles designed by the Italian artist Raphael - one of his works that was shown for the first time in centuries in the Sistine Chapel

A tapestry of cartoons of The Acts of the Apostles designed by the Italian artist Raphael – one of his works that was shown for the first time in centuries in the Sistine Chapel

500 years after Michelangelo and Raphael were repressed to be recognized as the great artist of their time, the two rival Italian 'masters' will once again compete for attention after 12 Rafael-designed carpets were hung on the walls of Michelange's Sistine Chapel.

500 years after Michelangelo and Raphael were repressed to be recognized as the great artist of their time, the two rival Italian 'masters' will once again compete for attention after 12 Rafael-designed carpets were hung on the walls of Michelange's Sistine Chapel.

500 years after Michelangelo and Raphael were repressed to be recognized as the great artist of their time, the two rival Italian ‘masters’ will once again compete for attention after 12 Rafael-designed carpets were hung on the walls of Michelange’s Sistine Chapel.

The works of Raphael are placed in the royal residence of the pope in the Vatican to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist's death

The works of Raphael are placed in the royal residence of the pope in the Vatican to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist's death

The works of Raphael are placed in the royal residence of the pope in the Vatican to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death

A tapestry designed by Renaissance artist Raphael was installed by gloved workers on a lower wall of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican

A tapestry designed by Renaissance artist Raphael was installed by gloved workers on a lower wall of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican

A tapestry designed by Renaissance artist Raphael was installed by gloved workers on a lower wall of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican

Tapestry 'The sacrifice of Lystra' designed by Renaissance artist Raphael, generally regarded as one of the greatest artists of the era

Tapestry 'The sacrifice of Lystra' designed by Renaissance artist Raphael, generally regarded as one of the greatest artists of the era

Tapestry ‘The sacrifice of Lystra’ designed by Renaissance artist Raphael, generally regarded as one of the greatest artists of the era

A crane then lifted the artworks against the wall with the help of workmen who were sitting on a scaffolding.

“They were designed for this space, so we thought it was the best way to celebrate,” said Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums.

All 12, made with silk, wool and gold and silver thread, have been carefully restored over the past 10 years by conservationists from the Vatican Museum.

“This place is of universal importance, not only for the visual arts, but also for our faith,” said Jatta, standing in the Sistine Chapel.

“So we really want to share this beauty with people, if only for a week.”

Seven of the tapestries, commissioned by Pope Leo X, were hanged in the chapel on September 26, 1519.

Gloved staff wearing protective suits were pictured today in the chapel that wears rolled up tapestries before subtly unrolling them on the floor

Gloved staff wearing protective suits were pictured today in the chapel that wears rolled up tapestries before subtly unrolling them on the floor

Gloved staff wearing protective suits were pictured today in the chapel that wears rolled up tapestries before subtly unrolling them on the floor

Tapestry 'The healing of the lame man' designed by the renaissance artist Raphael. Seven of the tapestries, commissioned by Pope Leo X, were hung in the chapel in the chapel on September 26, 1519

Tapestry 'The healing of the lame man' designed by the renaissance artist Raphael. Seven of the tapestries, commissioned by Pope Leo X, were hung in the chapel in the chapel on September 26, 1519

Tapestry ‘The healing of the lame man’ designed by the renaissance artist Raphael. Seven of the tapestries, commissioned by Pope Leo X, were hung in the chapel in the chapel on September 26, 1519

Tapestry 'St. Paul preaches in Athens. For the following week it is back in the chapel, it was between the time that Michelangelo painted the ceiling in 1512

Tapestry 'St. Paul preaches in Athens. For the following week it is back in the chapel, it was between the time that Michelangelo painted the ceiling in 1512

Tapestry ‘St. Paul preaches in Athens. For the following week it is back in the chapel, it was between the time that Michelangelo painted the ceiling in 1512

“The last record we have of all has been in the Sistine is from the late 1500s,” Alessandra Rodolfo, the curator of the exhibition.

Previous exhibitions, some of which only lasted a few hours or a day, only included the 10 larger tapestries, some of about six by five meters. Two of the twelve are narrow and hung vertically like edges.

A selection is normally shown with rotation behind glass in rooms with climate control in the Vatican Museums.

The conservationists and restorers of the Vatican Museums allowed all 12 of the delicate tapestries to be seen for only one week at a time, partly to protect them and partly because some are on loan to other museums.

One will soon go to the Scuderie museums of Rome Quirinale Palace and the other will go to the National Gallery in London later this year.

“It is exactly what Pope Francis is asking us to share and open up a museum for everyone and to share our beauty,” said Jatta.

Raphael was probably there to see them, but he died four months later at the age of 37.

The others were ready after his death.

Together with Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael forms the trinity of Italian ‘great masters’.

Raphael: How the loss of his father forged one of the world’s most legendary artists

Born in Urbino, Italy as Raffaello Sanzio, he was encouraged to pursue art at a young age.

His father, Giovanni Santi, was an artist for the duke of the city and passed on his skills to his son.

When Santi died when Raphael was only 11, he took on the monumental task of taking over the family workshop.

But he soon turned out to be one of the best painters and only 14 years old was commissioned for his first major work – painting a church in a nearby town.

In 1504 he moved to Florence, which became the center of the Italian art movement thanks to the hubs of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Ten years later he had become so famous that he could hire a crew to pursue a career as an architect, and designed the Rome Santa Santa del Popolo Chapel.

Age 37, in 1520, died of mysterious causes.

Together with Michaelangelo and Da Vinci, Raphael forms the trinity of Italian ‘great masters’.

A crane lifted the precious works of art on the wall, with the help of construction workers who were on scaffolding

A crane lifted the precious works of art on the wall, with the help of construction workers who were on scaffolding

A tapestry designed by Renaissance artist Raphael is installed on a lower wall of the Sistine Chapel

A tapestry designed by Renaissance artist Raphael is installed on a lower wall of the Sistine Chapel

A crane lifted the precious works of art on the wall, with the help of construction workers who were on scaffolding

Gloved staff wearing protective suits were pictured today in the chapel that wears rolled up tapestries before subtly unrolling them on the floor

Gloved staff wearing protective suits were pictured today in the chapel that wears rolled up tapestries before subtly unrolling them on the floor

Gloved staff wearing protective suits were pictured today in the chapel that wears rolled up tapestries before subtly unrolling them on the floor

‘The death of Ananias’ tapestry designed by Renaissance artist Raphael can be seen on a lower wall of the Sistine Chapel

Tapestry 'Christ' commission to Peter '. All 12, made with silk, wool and gold and silver thread, have been carefully restored over the past 10 years by conservationists from the Vatican Museum

Tapestry 'Christ' commission to Peter '. All 12, made with silk, wool and gold and silver thread, have been carefully restored over the past 10 years by conservationists from the Vatican Museum

Tapestry ‘Christ’ commission to Peter ‘. All 12, made with silk, wool and gold and silver thread, have been carefully restored over the past 10 years by conservationists from the Vatican Museum

The tapestries, woven in Brussels by the famous studio of Pieter van Aelst from the sketches of Raphael, show scenes from the Acts of the Apostles, such as The Stoning of St. Stephen (photo)

The tapestries, woven in Brussels by the famous studio of Pieter van Aelst from the sketches of Raphael, show scenes from the Acts of the Apostles, such as The Stoning of St. Stephen (photo)

The tapestries, woven in Brussels by the famous studio of Pieter van Aelst from the sketches of Raphael, show scenes from the Acts of the Apostles, such as The Stoning of St. Stephen (photo)

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