Thursday, March 29, 2012

Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling

Michelangelo Buonarroti
1475 - 1564
Sistine Chapel Ceiling 
1508 - 1512
C L I C K     T O     E N L A R G E

Picture:  1267 x 850  -  Columbia University
  • Vatican, Vatican City
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Fresco
  • 45 x 128 feet

And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.  And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.  And Shem and Japeth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
Genesis 9: 20 - 23

Picture:  1176 x 745 at 200 dpi  -  Kwing Hung

Picture:  782 x 495 at 600 dpi  -  Olga's Gallery

And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth:  and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
Genesis 7:23

Picture:  712 x 826 at 96 dpi  -  Wikimedia

Picture:  922 x 1000 at 300 dpi

Picture:  1835 x 900 at 300 dpi  -  Free Christ Images

And Noah builded an alter unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth:  neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Genesis 8:  20 - 21

Picture:  1132 x 780 at 300 dpi  -  WGA

Picture:  1149 x 770 at 300 dpi  -  Wikipedia

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:  and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:  Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Genesis 3:  22 - 24

Picture:  700 x 600  -  photoWall

Picture:  1073 x 1090  -  TerminArtors

Picture:  1537 x 770  -  Public Domain Photos

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept:  and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Genesis 2:  21 - 22

Picture:  1086 x 771 at 300 dpi  -  Ad Imaginem Dei

Picture:  1600 x 1177  -  Reddit

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Genesis 2:7

Picture:  1303 x 670 at 300 dpi  -  UCLS

Picture:  1303 x 670 at 300 dpi  -  UCLS

Picture:  1303 x 670 at 300 dpi  -  UCLS

Picture:  1200 x 802  -  Michelangelo Paintings

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear:  and it was so.
Genesis 1:9

Picture:  1085 x 820 at 96 dpi  -  Wikipedia

Picture:  1085 x 820 at 96 dpi  -  Wikipedia

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:  he made the stars also.
Genesis 1:16

Picture:  1085 x 820 at 96 dpi  -  Wikipedia

Picture:  1085 x 820 at 96 dpi  -  Wikipedia

And God said, Let there be light:  and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
Genesis 1:  3 - 5

Picture:  834 x 1050 at 96 dpi  -  Wikipedia

Picture:  1474 x 1100 at 300 dpi  -  WGA

Michelangelo gave visual expression to the words of Genesis.  As he proceeds across the ceiling in reverse order, from the drunkenness of Noah to the dividing of light and dark, he grows in confidence as a painter and his figures loom larger and dramatically foreshortened.  It was a project Michelangelo would never have undertaken without the fierce dominating insistence of Pope Julius II.  

1 comment:

  1. In enjoyed your commentary on the various images from the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. Do you happen to know of a more detailed commentary including even the minor images? As with most modern Christ-followers, my woeful ignorance of the finer points of the Bible's historical narration interferes with my appreciating visual references to those events.