March 11, 2010

“the Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican

Location: Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Italy (41° 54′ 8″ N, 12° 27′ 23″ E)
Date: 22 March 2006; 11.15am
Camera: Canon IXUS iZoom

The Sistine Chapel is the most well-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace which is the Pope’s official residence in the Vatican. The Sistine Chapel is well-known for a few reasons. It was made famous and widely-known from the novel “Angels & Demons” as the Papal conclave- the venue for the election of successive Popes. However, it is probably better known for its interior decoration especially the immense frescoes painted by some of the best-known Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini. Michelangelo probably painted his best in the Chapel; by expert account, his “The Last Judgement” was his best painting. But its popularity is overshadowed by perhaps the most well-known artworks of all time, Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam”. “The Creation of Adam” is so popular in modern pop culture that it has continuously been parodied in the last few decades. By the way, photography is strictly prohibited in the Sistine Chapel but this is often ignored. I was going to follow this restriction when I visited the Chapel and kept my DSLR in my bag to demonstrate my respect. However, the majority of the tourists in the few hundreds who were in the Chapel on that day showed no inhibition whatsoever- clicking away on their cameras, with some even using flashes (my observation is that most digicam users do not know how to operate their cameras and so, do not know how to turn off their flash). I could not resist the temptation and sneak out my digicam and took a photo.

1 comment:

Tamsyn Taylor said...

1. Raphael didn't paint any frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
2. Bernini was not a painter. He was a sculptor. Non of his work is in the Sistine Chapel.
#. The statement that Michelangelo "painted his best" in the Chapel is ludicrous. Michelangelo was primarily a sculptor. There is only one other (ONE OTHER) authenticated picture (about a metre across). So, well yes, he DID paint his best in the Chapel, but to say so implies that there are many works outside the Chapel. "The Last Judgement was his best painting" is likewise nonsense. The only thing you have to compare the wall with, is the ceiling. NO-ONE says that one is better than the other. Once again, it implies that there is a whole body of work out there that can be compared, rather than just one lonely little easel painting. (NOTE: there is another, unfinished pic in London which is probably Michelangelo). Stick to what you CAN say. Leave out the sentence about what was his best. It is irrelevant. Instead you could give your viewer the dates at which each was painted, and the very famous Pope. Incidentally, to say that the Chapel was "made famous" by the movie "Angels and Demons" needs a serious rethink. Did the MOVIE really make it famous?