Soaring cue above the tomb of Peter is the first great dome to be raised on a colonnade. In 1546, Michelangelo, now seventy-one years old, was named architect of Saint Peter's, and dismantled some construction of earlier campaigns to return the plan of the basilica, essentially, to Bramante's original conception. Later, Pope Paul III cue (r. Michelangelo's drawing for one of these, the Libyan Sibyl, is preserved in the Metropolitan Museum ( 24.
On the lunettes and spandrels Michelangelo painted Christ's ancestors, while the spaces between the spandrels show the prophets and sibyls who foretold Christ's birth. Michelangelo painted the vault with scenes from the Book of Genesis: the Creation of the world and of Adam and Eve, cue the Fall and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and God's destruction of the world by the flood. The walls had been frescoed from 1481 to 1483 with scenes from the lives of Moses and Christ by Botticelli, Perugino, Ghirlandaio, and others. The rooms vary widely in cue subject matter, but invariably stress the pope's status as Christ's vicar on earth, the long history of the papacy, and its continuing protection by God.