January 19, 2010 in Misc

Design Inspiration: Renaissance Art, Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel


sistine-chapel2The Sistine Chapel ceiling in Vatican City is Michelangelo’s most renowned Renaissance art piece, I was lucky enough to honeymoon in Rome and see this piece up close, truly inspiring design on a colossal scale the whole chapel is famously frescoed with scenes from the book of Genesis, the craftsmanship and scale awe inspiring. When ceilings are frescoed like this you cannot distinguish between paint and stone, your eyes play tricks as you focus from one story to the next.

The Last Judgment

the-last-judgmentThe most famous fresco is Michelangelo’s Last Judgment which took four years to completion in 1541. Situated on the altar wall, it depicts the souls of humans rising and falling to their fates, judged by Jesus Christ.

The last judgment was famously censored by prudent priests after Michelangelo’s death; Spearheaded by Biagio Da Cesana who  said “it was mostly disgraceful that in so sacred a place there should have been depicted all those nude figures, exposing themselves so shamefully,” and that it was no work for a papal chapel but rather “for the public baths and taverns,” .

Michelangelo went on to get his minosrevenge as he worked in Cesena’s semblance into the scene as Minos, judge of the underworld (far bottom-right corner of the painting) with Donkey Ears, with Cesena’s nudity covered by a coiled snake.

It is said that when Cesena complained to the Pope, the pontiff responded that “his jurisdiction did not extend to hell, so the portrait would have to remain.”

Sistine Chapel Video


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Anthony Brewitt is Design Bit, has been for years - he's an experienced WordPress Designer, and Muggle-born Marketing Philosopher. Let’s talk about your website; your marketing, blog design, and that cool new mobile web thingy. Contact Anthony

3 Responses to Design Inspiration: Renaissance Art, Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel

  1. Awesome, I’ve been to the vatican and to the Sistene Chapel several times as I used to live in Rome, and it never fails to inspire me. I actually prefer Rafaels work at the vatican to the Sistene mind you.

  2. The Rafael Rooms are stunning too, including the School of Athens.

  3. Pingback: The Convergence of Art and Science « EGMN: Notes from the Road

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