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Pope Julius II asked Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine (sins-teen) chapel in 1508. The chapel was Built by Pope Sixtus IV in 1481. Which happened to be in the Vatican, is known to be the pope’s headquarters in Rome. The chapel measuring in at 130 feet long and 44 feet wide – was a large undertaking to paint. The Sistine chapel particularly important to pope Julius II, since it was the site in which cardinals met to elect new people.
Four three years (1508 – 1511) Michelangelo climbed scaffolding in the chapel to his perch about 65 feet above the chapels floor.
From This perch, he painted more then 300 massive human figures onto the 5,8000 square-foot ceiling. It was messy, tiring work. Michelangelo wrote the following pome vividly describing his daily agony.
My stomach is thrust toward my chin,
My beard curls up, toward the sky,
My head leans right over into my back,
my chest is like that of an old shrew,
The brush endlessly dripping onto my face,
Has coated it with a multi-colored paving.
Though as the paint dribbled into his eyes and down his face Michelangelo never lost sight of his inspiring design. The ceiling contains nine paintings illustrating the creation (Separation of Light From Darkness, Creation of the Moon, Stars, and Planets, and Separation of Land and Water), the story of Adam (Creation of Adam, Creation of Eve, and The Temptation and Fall), and the story of Noah (Noah’s Sacrifice, and The Flood, Drunkenness of Noah). Toward the center, he painted the scene that was meant to compel the viewer’s attention.
This scene “The Creation of Adam” God is reaching out to infuse the spirit of life into Adam, the first man. One art historian pointed out, “An electric charge seemed to pass between their fingers.”
Humanists combined respect for classical learning with supreme confidence in human ability. Michelangelo’s painting represents humanism in the way it glorified the beauty and order in nature, while in older medieval paintings contained only temptation and evil. They thought of Humans are almost equals of god and believed that the powers of the human race should be glorified, in the 300 magnificent human paintings you can spot just how Michelangelo showed this love for the human power. “The Creation of Adam” shows god touching Adam, the two share an electric charge between the two finger tips. I think this shows that god gave humans power to be equals. Adam in the nude, signifies celebration of the human body proving just how wonderful, strong and beautiful it really is. Michelangelo brought humanism to us though his beautiful painting, showing that not only god can crate things beautiful but the common man can too.
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