As the Cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel to select who will be Pope Francis consider a momentous decision for the future of the church, I pulled out an essay that I began to write two summers ago, after visiting the famed Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Until now, I held back from publishing it, thinking that my observations might be too radical. But a recent conversation with an artist I respect, Joel Sheesley, encouraged me to finish this essay. We were at the library in Wheaton College, where Joel teaches, looking together at an etching copy of Raphael's masterpiece Transfiguration , a painting that hangs in the Vatican only a few yards from the Sistine Chapel.
Gwen test render
Sistine Chapel ceiling - Wikipedia
In his novel The Agony and The Ecstasy, biographical writer Irving Stone created a critical persona of Michelangelo which has staunchly influenced the twentieth century viewer of his work. Analysis of this fresco and the utilisation of a nude female model due to the sensuous rendering of the female figure of Eve would allude to a heterosexual orientation. This view of Michelangelo is further supported by analysis of his other female subjects such as the marble sculpture of Dawn in the Medici Chapel where the features are discernibly softer than those of his coarser male subjects. In fact, it is clear that his work is dominated by nude figures of the male sex, which complicates the matter of sexuality and the artist. If one takes the example of the ignudi of the Sistine Chapel, the subjects depict the idealised nude male form in a relaxed repose. Positioned on the corners of biblical compositions such as The Sacrifice of Noah , the athletic male figures bear no relevance to the stories of which they are placed within. This leads to the question of why Michelangelo chose to include these particular figures within these compositions, and how this overtly sexualised imagery was accepted by the highly conservative population of the Early Modern period.
How to Visit the Sistine Chapel and What to See
Online booking. As in many large cities, the art community is multinational and English friendly, and so easily accessible to any foreigner who dares to be curious. The mobs and masses can wait in line for a glimpse of retouched fresco and a whiff of authentically stale air, but those with their aesthetic sensibilities tuned to the here-and-now will find plenty in Rome to occupy their ocular apparatus.
Considered by many the greatest artist of his lifetime, and by some the greatest artist of all time, his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man , along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici , Leonardo da Vinci. A number of Michelangelo's works of painting, sculpture and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. Despite holding a low opinion of painting, he also created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and The Last Judgment on its altar wall.