Cappella Paolina Panorama, Vatican

The Cappella Paolina (Pauline Chapel) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City. It is separated from the Sistine Chapel by the Sala Regia. It is not on any of the regular tourist itineraries.

Michelangelo’s two frescoes in the Cappella Paolina, The Conversion of Saul and The Crucifixion of St Peter were painted from 1542 to 1549, the height of his fame, but were widely viewed as disappointments and even failures by their contemporary audience. They did not conform to the compositional conventions of the time and the subject-matter is depicted in an unorthodox manner. Despite the importance of the chapel and the significance of their subjects, the frescoes were generally neglected and overlooked in favor of Michelangelo’s nearby masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel.More recently an Italian scholar has recognised Michelangelo's face both in Saint Paul and saint Pete by facial superimposition (Sandro Giometti'Michelangelo, Displaying the Invisible" TAU Todi 2018).In his last period the Artist felt himself called by Christ as an apostle of his, and expresses this by bestowing his old man's face to the young Saul on his way to Damascus. On the opposite wall he paints his self- portrait in the face of Saint Peter, who stares in a reproachful way at the cardinals and the newly elected pope for their non evangelical lifestyle.