The Sistine Chapel
January 22, 2013
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni painted the interior of the Sistine Chapel over a period of 34 years. Michelangelo’s paintings are not only masterpieces of art. The paintings displayed Michelangelo’s relationship to the times and to God. He accomplished this through the content and the style of the paintings. Michelangelo transformed the whole look and the atmosphere of the chapel, while giving us his impressions and ‘’design’’ of God.
Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel under the order of the newly elected Pope Julius II. In the beginning, Europe was entering the High Renaissance and confidence was high. Michelangelo designed the ceiling to tell nine stories from the Book of Genesis. The stories were divided into three trilogies; the Creation of the Universe, the Creation of Man and the Story of Noah (Fall of Man). He used very bright and powerful colours to make the paintings jump from the ceiling.
In the first trilogy Michelangelo depicts God’s limitless power by painting God in motion as he separates light from dark, creates the sun, the moon and the stars, and separates land from water. The second trilogy is painted in the very centre of the ceiling. When standing in the centre of the chapel, looking directly up, you will see the Creation of Man. God rests on a cloud that resembles a human brain. God is breathing life into the body of Adam with a single touch. It gives the viewer an intense appreciation of the power travelling from God to the fingertip of Adam. You can almost feel the spark between God and Adam. The third trilogy is the story of Noah and the eventual downfall of man.
There is also a transition of man from purity to sin....
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