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Michelangelo and the Popeâ s Ceiling

In the book Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, the Pope Julius II comm
isioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This was a supe
r long job and Michelangelo was not highly trained in painting especially on cur
ved walls. He decided to return home to get away from the job but was eventually
persuaded. In the story it Michelangelo and the Pope were found to be very simi
lar in person which makes everything a lot more interesting. At the time the Pop
e was making a huge artistic impact for the rest of time in Italy. This was one
of the big changes he wanted to pursue and it was the hardest too. Once he had e
xcepted the challenge he began working on it right away. The author shows his pr
oblems in the beginning like the way the Fresco paint did not work with certain
conditions in the chapel. He had to redo his first peices multiple times because
they did not cooperate. Michelangelo depicted his art works religiously but int
imidating because of the sermons that they had heard in that time. Julius was th
ought of as a big part in religion so Michelangelo incorporated him into the pai
nting as different characters of the bible. Once he was able to see his painting
s from the ground he had decided to change it and make the ones after that less
busy containing simpler shapes and less people crammed into one panel. The diffe
rences in the early compared to the later panels was the God went from being for
mal to being a muscular and vigorous looking man. Once the painting had opened e
veryone in the world wanted to see it. It was said to be one of the best paintin
gs on marble ever. To Michelangelo all of his hard work had really payed off. Ot
her rival painters even said that it was an astonishing peice of art. The author
of this book really went through each biblical story associated with the painti
ng and described it in detail. He talked about how the audience of that day woul
d view the painting and what it really meant to them to see it. There are many t
hings that the audience could notice that would seem indifferent in a painting.
Things like, a child in one of the panels is making a fig which is equivalent to
the middle finger of today. Another thing that the author talked about was thin
gs different about the work today, in one of the most famous peices â The Creationâ he t
lks about how Godâ s fingers and Adamâ s fingers have been recreated or restored.