Nearly thirty years ago, Michael Stehr arrived at Stanford University, prepared to pursue studies in Political Science that would lead him to a career in law or business. Four years later, Michael left college with an additional major in Art History, plans to make an art history pilgrimage to Europe, and a burgeoning house painting business that would later develop into Sistine Chapel Art and Art History as it exists today. 


Named for the most exquisite work of art in the western world, Sistine Chapel Art and Art History hopes to communicate the spirit of Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling— an awe-inspiring force of beauty, creativity, and human innovation— though Michael’s own fine art, decorative painting, and art history tours and lectures. Discovering the power of this creative energy in college forever altered the course of Michael’s life, and he hopes that he can mirror the impact such a discovery had on him for others through his work. 

Michael devotes the majority of his time to his decorative art. These custom interior paint finishes include murals, layered color effects, wall finishes, colored plasters, gold leafing, and hand painted wood grain. Samples of Michael’s decorative finishes can be found under the Decorative Art tab above.

Toward the end of every year, Michael displays his fine art in a gallery show in Piedmont. His paintings primarily feature the two places in which Michael feels most at home: the Bay Area, and his faraway home of Italy. Michael also enjoys portraiture and figure painting, and he has recently begun painting animals after creating a (study? small painting?) of the family dog as a Christmas present for his daughter. Samples of Michael’s fine artwork can be found under the Fine Art tab above.

When Michael isn’t creating art, you can probably find him studying it— poring over a precarious stack of index cards or flipping through one of the many art history books that sit atop the family coffee table. Michael has lectured at many prominent locations, including the Commonwealth Club, Stanford University, and several notable private clubs and libraries throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also both lectured and displayed his fine artwork in Rome. Michael also leads annual art history tours in Rome and Paris, adventures marked by Michael’s incredible passion for the artists and their work that he channels into creating a uniquely personalized, highly engaging learning experience. Learn more about Michael’s art tours under the Art Tours tab above, and see Upcoming Events for a list of Michael’s upcoming lectures.