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Romantic Imagination

Categories: Michelangelo

“The Creation of Adam” painted by Michelangelo in 1510, is one of the most beautiful and famous painting representing the Creation. It was painted on the ceiling of the Papal Sistine Chapel and is a masterpiece of High Renaissance art. It is a part of a larger scheme of decoration within the chapel, including various elements like a large fresco of The Last Judgement. Michelangelo demonstrated his skill in creating a huge variety of poses for the human figure, providing an influential pattern for other artists ever since.

So at the time, it was not conventional. The technique employed was fresco. The colours are beautiful. It represents a metaphor of Humankind’s need for a covenant (accordo, convenzione) with God. “Elohim creating Adam” by William Blake is a colour print finished in pen and watercolour.

It represents God creating the first human being. God is a supernatural being with wings, white hair and beard. He is bigger and stronger than him and very powerful.

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Adam, instead, seems a very weak and suffering creature. He is stretched on the ground. In the picture there is also a great worm that entwines Adam and symbolizes the world of pain and sorrow, the devil’s temptations and also the fact that the human being is linked to sin and corruption. Blake uses cold colours, dull, dismal and gloomy. The atmosphere is very sad. The shapes of the protagonists are distinct and sharp. All these things suggest the tension of the creation and also the energy of God.

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For Blake the creation is a suffering moment for the creature, a moment of tension, because the author has a pessimistic view of life. Adam is innocent, weak and destined to sin.

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Romantic Imagination. (2016, Nov 06). Retrieved from

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