Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508-12 (Vatican)

The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of Renaissance Art.

It was painted at the commission of Pope Julius II. The chapel is the location for papal conclaves and many important services. The ceiling’s various painted elements form part of a larger scheme of decoration within the Chapel, which includes the large fresco, The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall, also by Michelangelo. 

Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which The Creation of Adam is the best known, having an iconic standing equaled only by da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the hands of God and Adam being reproduced in countless imitations.

The complex design includes several sets of individual figures, both clothed and nude, which allowed Michelangelo to fully demonstrate his skill in creating a huge variety of poses for the human figure, and have provided an enormously influential pattern book of models for other artists ever since.

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One Response to “Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508-12 (Vatican)”

  1. My son and I have been to the Sistein Chapei. It is breathtaking. U sit there and wonder how difficult it had to be to paint the chapel. A calm comes over u and u don’t want to leave. I feel blessed that I got to see this magnificent Chapel.

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