The 33 photographs of the frescoes will be displayed on the walls – and suspended overhead – of a darkened room in the Canadian city's Palais des Congres convention center, in a world premiere.
The photographs were taken 20 years ago by the Vatican's official photographer during a restoration of the artwork in the chapel, where cardinals have elected new popes since the 15th century.
The frescoes in the actual chapel are so far above the heads of tourists that they are somewhat difficult to appreciate.
“Taking photos so close (to the paintings) had never been allowed,” Veronica Redgrave, the spokeswoman for the exhibit, told AFP.
“Even the popes never saw them from this close.”
The exhibit will be in Montreal for three months before heading to Toronto and Vancouver.
Venues in the United States, Europe and Latin America are also expected to display the photos.