The Sistine Chapel

It is hard to believe now, when one looks up at the amazing artwork of the Sistine Chapel, that Michelangelo was reluctant to take on such a task.

Yet, between the years 1508 and 1512 he took on that task and produced a wonder that we behold today. He spent those four years on a scaffold lying on his back with brush and palette in hand. In his mind was a vision of the divine.

That is just what he created.

With images and pictures taken from the Holy Bible, Michelangelo painted with such skill and devotion each character is brought alive.

From the Old Testament prophets to images of Christ he displays the powerful story of God in picture form.

He even throws in Sibyls, a prophet to the pagans, who announces the coming of Christ.

The Sistine Chapel was built by and named after Pope Sixtus IV (who interestingly enough was believed to be homosexual), hence the chapel’s name.

Not only does it show off Michelangelo’s immense work but the walls are adorned by the work of artists who came before Michelangelo such as Botticelli.

These pictures are typical renaissance art that tells the stories from the Bible.

From the Life of Moses to the Temptation of Christ, each frame tells a story.

But it is the ceiling, and the adjoining vaultings, that many come to gaze at.

On these particular vaultings, that arise between the five windows, the artist has painted mighty men and women of God from the Old Testament.

Their forms leap out, prophetically, as they announce the coming of Christ.

Michelangelo was skilled in painting human form and could produce an image from any angle.

His skill is clearly shown through the various ways he paints the figures displayed on the ceiling on the vaultings.

They look so real.

This can be seen on the ceiling itself.

Michelangelo transcends human dimension and thought to give those who glimpse at it a taste of heaven.

One of the most famous images is that of Creation.

God reaches down from on high and reaches out to give the spark of life to Adam.

Not that their fingers meet, as they do not have to.

God’s power is enough.

The image shows the mystery and power of Creation.

The figures themselves want you to reach out and touch though that is impossible to do.

When you look at the ceiling as a whole you can see how it all fits together, how Michelangelo strived for

harmony.

There is no image or picture out of place.

It is like a huge, completed, jigsaw puzzle, but each piece tells its own story.

You can spend hours, neck craned as Michelangelo’s was, admiring the splendor and majesty of the artists work.

Pieces such as the one showing the Old Testament prophet Daniel holding a large book that is somehow supported by a small boy.

There is Ezekiel involved in some argument.

Images of children and cherubs are everywhere often in the form of statues.

No one in art had ever produced images this powerful until Michelangelo came on the scene.

There is no doubt that these images, especially that of Creation, have influenced many generations in their concept of Father God.

The Sistine Chapel is a marvel to behold, to wonder at, to take in.

It is an awesome piece of art that will continue enthralling people for generations to come.