Monday, 25 August 2014

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel


I knew of Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel but when I saw a book about it in the library I got it out because I realised that my knowledge about it was so superficial as to be almost useless. 
What I found was so interesting that I thought I would share some of it with you.  I have chosen pics which don't involve nudes (so that limited the choices a bit since the work is chock full of them). 
Michelangelo (with a few assistants) completed the painting of the Sistine Chapel over 500 years ago.  Needless to say there has had to be extensive restoration work over the years.  The Sistine Chapel is where the cardinals meet to elect new popes. 

This became Michelangelo's most famous work (with a couple of other masterpieces as close seconds).  The irony is that Michelangelo didn't want to do it – he refused numerous times until the Pope insisted he do it.  He saw himself as a sculptor rather than a painter first and foremost.  His great sculptures include The Pieta and David. 
Unlike many other famous artists Michelangelo became famous and wealthy in his own lifetime.
Michelangelo didn't paint the ceiling lying down as is often thought – he was able to stand up on a platform to do it although he suffered badly with a cricked neck. 

So what was the subject of the painting on the ceiling?    It is huge in scope covering almost all of the Old Testament including Adam & Eve, Noah etc.  In fact a depiction of Eve is right at the dead centre of the ceiling.  He also painted heaps of prophets and sibyls.   

I saw this great work as a child but now I know a bit more about it – it would be great to see it in the flesh again.

1 comment:

Your comments are most welcome. Cheers