Art History Movement

Creation of Adam by Michelangelo & The Sistine Chapel in Rome Italy

{Please Note: Mister Riggs is instructed to teach this information through Core Knowledge & American Academy. My goal is to show the students the information not interpret religious information.I want NO part of  teaching the religious nature of the context.}

Creation of Adam

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” (Genesis 1: 27).

Michelangelo Vision: The focal point of the episode of the Creation of man is the contact between the fingers of the Creator and those of Adam, through which the breath of life is transmitted. God, supported by angels in flight and wrapped in a mantle, leans towards Adam, shown as a resting athlete, whose beauty seems to confirm the words of the Old Testament, according to which man was created to the image and likeness of God.


The Sistine Chapel History

The Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV, from whom it derives its name, in 1475. It was designed to be – and still is – the pope’s chapel and the site of papal elections. The Sistine Chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin on August 15, 1483.

In 1481 Sixtus IV called to Rome the Florentine painters Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli and the Perugian Pietro Perugino to decorate the walls with frescoes. Luca Signorelli may have also been involved in the decoration. The fresco project took only 11 months, from July 1481 to May 1482.

The Sistine ceiling was originally painted by Piero Matteo d’Amelia, who included a star-spangled sky. But in 1508 Pope Julius II della Rovere commissioned Michelangelo to repaint the ceiling.

Michelangelo was called away from his work on the pope’s own tomb and was he not happy about the change. He had always insisted he was a sculptor and was contemptuous of fresco painting. The result are glorious depictions of human bodies that could only be created by a sculptor, and the project Michelangelo hated so much (at least at first) ironically became his most well-known work.

Michelangelo was asked to paint the Twelve Apostles and a few ornaments on the ceiling of the chapel. But as he began work on the project, Michelangelo conceived grander designs and ended up painting more than 300 figures.

He worked on the project between 1508 and October 31, 1512, in cramped conditions high on a scaffolding and under continous pressure from the pope to hurry up. The project would permanently damage the artist’s eyesight.

Michelangelo was in his 60s when he was called back to the chapel, again against his wishes, to paint The Last Judgment (1535-1541) on the altar wall. The work was commissioned by Pope Clement VII (1523-1534) shortly before his death, and Clement’s successor, Pope Paul III Farnese (1534-1549), forced Michelangelo to complete it quickly. It was the largest fresco of the century and is still an unquestioned masterpiece.

For important ceremonies, the lowest portions of the Sistine Chapel’s side walls were covered with a series of tapestries depicting events from the Gospels and Acts. These were designed by Raphael and woven in 1515-19 at Brussels.

In recent decades, the Sistine Chapel has been carefully cleaned and restored, beginning with the 15th-century wall frescoes in 1965. The cleaning and restoration of the lunettes, the ceiling and the Last Judgment, a painstaking process using computer analysis, lasted from 1980 to 1994. The restoration included removing several of the “modesty” drapes that had been added over some of the nude figures.

The end result of the restoration has been controversial: Critics say a vital second layer of paint was removed, and argue that many of the restored figures seem flat compared with the originals, which had more shadow and detail. Others have hailed the project for saving Michelangelo’s masterpiece for future generations to appreciate and for revealing the vibrancy of his color palette.








The Vatican, Vatican City, Rome Italy



Michelangelo was a painter, sculptor, architect and poet and one of the great artists of the Italian Renaissance.

Michelangelo Buonarroti was born on 6 March 1475 in Caprese near Florence (Italy) where his father was the local magistrate. A few weeks after his birth, the family moved to Florence. In 1488, Michelangelo was apprenticed to the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. He then lived in the household of Lorenzo de’ Medici, the leading patron of the arts in Florence.

After the Medici were expelled from Florence, Michelangelo travelled to Bologna and then, in 1496, to Rome. His primary works were sculpture in these early years. His ‘Pietà’ (1497) made his name and he returned to Florence a famous sculptor. Here he produced his ‘David’ (1501-1504).

In 1505, Pope Julius II summoned Michelangelo back to Rome and commissioned him to design Julius’ own tomb. Due to quarrels between Julius and Michelangelo, and the many other demands on the artist’s time, the project was never completed, although Michelangelo did produce a sculpture of Moses for the tomb.

Michelangelo’s next major commission was the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican (1508-1512). It was recognised at once as a great work of art and from then on Michelangelo was regarded as Italy’s greatest living artist.

The new pope, Leo X, then commissioned Michelangelo to rebuild the façade of the church of San Lorenzo in Florence. The scheme was eventually abandoned, but it marks the beginning of Michelangelo’s activity as an architect. Michelangelo also designed monuments to Giuliano and Lorenzo de’ Medici in the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo.

In 1534, Michelangelo returned to Rome where he was commissioned to paint ‘The Last Judgement’ on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel (1537-1541). From 1546 he was increasingly active as an architect, in particular on the great church of St Peter’s. He died in Rome on 18 February 1564.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 5th, 2012 at 10:56 am and is filed under Weekly News. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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