Video:Quick Tip: Guide to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceilingwith Alan Seise
Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel is an awe inspiring piece of art with a legendary history in art. Learn more about the Sistine's Chapel frescoes and the biblical imagery Michelangelo recreated in this About.com video.See Transcript
Transcript:Quick Tip: Guide to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Hi I'm Alex Seiss for About.com and today we're going to be talking about the Sistine Chapel.
Michelangelo Paints Directly on the Ceiling
The Sistine chapel ceilings frescos are by Michelangelo from July of 1508 to October of 1512. Pope Julius the II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the frescoes. The frescos are painted directly on the ceiling and the pigments were mixed with water so that it could absorb into the plaster.
The name comes from Pope Sixtus the 4th who commissioned Michelangelo to paint it. The ceiling is divided into many sections because of the vaulting, each picture depicts a different scene from the Old Testament. If you look at the figures they look as though they have a 3 dimensional quality, this is because Michelangelo was above all a sculpted and believed painting should do its best to mimic natural dimensionality.
Biblical Imagery in the Sistine Chapel's Frescos
One of the most famous of these sections is the creation of Adam. Which depicts Adam on earth just before he touches god to gain the spark of life. Behind god is a woman, which has been debated to be either Mary or Eve.
Another notable section is the explosion from the Garden of Eden. This shows in continuous narrative both the fall of man, where eve accepts the apple and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise by the archangel.
The Libyan Sybil is a good example of Michelangelo’s ability to render dynamic forms and movement. The Sybil is a pagan prophetess who’s words Christian's interpreted as a premonition of the coming of Christ.