Sunday, 1 November 2020

volta della cappella sistina

Having worked on the monumental commission of Pope Julius II to decorate and adorn the chapel restored by his pontifical predecessor Sixtus IV for the past four years (the hall was originally under a midnight blue roof studded with gold-leaf stars), Michelangelo was able to present his crowning, defining achievement of High Renaissance art (previously) for the first time on this day in 1512 to the public in all its virtuosity and range of figural poses and presentation. The central frescos relate nine allegories from the Book of Genesis and were completed in reverse order, beginning with Noah’s Drunkenness and finishing on All Hallows’ Eve with the Creation of Eve and Adam—barely time for the paint to dry—when the scaffolding was removed and the first guests admitted on the anniversary of his patron’s 1503 election to pontif.