Each panel tells not a single but more stories;
this guide will be particularly useful to know every detail of these 12 side
These frescoes are meant to be observed in parallel: left and right. On one side are shown scenes from the Old Testament and the other scenes from the New Testament.
Let’s start with the first one:
FIRST SIDE BOX SISTINE CHAPEL
The first box on the right and the first box on the left deal with the religious ceremony:
one hand, the circumcision of the son of Moses, on the other the baptism of Christ, are both works by Perugino.
The first on the right side tells about the beginning of the story of Moses with Moses in the foreground, stopped by an angel and with his wife on the right, circumcises the child. Circumcision was the sign of belonging to the Jew People.
In the second, on the left, by Perugino as well, the baptism of Jesus is reproduced. In the center of this box John is represented while baptizing Jesus in the river Jordan.
SECOND SIDE BOX SISTINE CHAPEL
This box tells the temptations and is painted by Botticelli
The second panel on the left is by Botticelli, who painted the temptations of Moses.
This defends the daughters of Jethro, one of which, Zipporah, will become his bride.
In the background, Moses received God's command to go to Egypt to free the people of Israel.
On the right wall you find a new depiction of Botticelli of the temptations of Moses.
In the foreground the purification of the leper who has miraculously been cured by Christ and gets in front of the priest to be declared cured.
The third panel shows the way to be followed: on one side, the subject is
Moses crossing the Red Sea and on the other Jesus who calls the first apostles.
The passage of the Red Sea marks the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.
Moses is safe on the sea side, while the waters close themselves before the passage of the army of Pharaoh.
On the opposite wall Ghirlandaio painted the call of the apostles. In particular, Peter and his brother Andrew.
In the background, Christ calls other two brothers: James and John.
The fourth panel talks about the Word of God that frees us from sin. The paintings are both by Rosselli.
The first tells the story of Moses, pictured while receiving the tablets of the law with the 10 commandments and when down from the mountain he shows them to people.
Down from the mountain he presents them to the people, but then indignant for the act of idolatry of the people, he breaks them and punishes those worshiped the golden calf.
In the opposite box you find the Sermon of the mountain of Jesus
Jesus saw the crowds to hear him, proclaims the laws of his kingdom known as the Beatitudes.
On the right, Christ heals a leper. In the thinking of the time, leprosy was a symbol of sin. Christ healing the leprosy represents the Savior of the people from sin. This work as well is by Rosselli.
The fifth section of the frescoes in the sides, tell about the punishment of those who rebelled against the word of God and the recognition of the absolute power of the Church.
On one side, there is a fresco by Botticelli with the Punishment of the sons of Core, on the other, the keys given to Peter, a work painted by Perugino.
In the biblical narrative Core was a priest who rebelled against Moses and contrasted his religious authority. Core is expected to get an examplar punishment, his entire family getting into a chasm in the ground.
The incident is very rare in biblical imagery, had the only goal to reaffirm the authority of the pope and to emphasize the punishment for those who dare to rebel against the power of the representatives of God on earth.
The section of the front wall is dedicated to the delivery of the keys to Peter. A graphic element to emphasize the power of the Church on earth.
In the last panel is told of the death of Moses and Jesus.
Signorelli represents the last years in the history of Moses and on the other side there is the depiction of the Last Supper.
Moses on a throne recommends the people of Israel to observe the law of God and gives the control rod to Josue.
In the background the death of Moses.
In the Last Supper depicted by Roselli you can see the prayer of Jesus in the garden, Judas’ kiss and the crucifixion of Christ.