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The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo (Drawing & Painting)

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The Creation of Adam is a fresco painted by Michelangelo, the work started at 1508 (512 years ago) and finished 1512 (508 years ago), it appears on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It illustrates the Biblical story from the Book of Genesis in which God the Father breathes life into Adam, the first man. Chronologically the fourth in the series of panels depicting episodes from Genesis on the Sistine ceiling, it was among the last to be completed.

About the picture:
An energetic, dynamic, flying God points his finger at Adam, who is struck with life.
There is no visible spark, but Michelangelo did not need one to create this very strong image.
Adam is shown as a powerful youth, who in the center of the composition receives the breath of life.


God is depicted as an elderly bearded man wrapped in a swirling cloak while Adam, on the lower left, is completely naked. God's right arm is outstretched to impart the spark of life from his own finger into that of Adam, whose left arm is extended in a pose mirroring God's, a reminder that man is created in the image (wallpaper) and likeness of God (Gen 1:26). Another point is that Adam's finger and God's finger are not touching. It gives the appearance that God, the giver of life, is reaching out to Adam and Adam is receiving. The pink backdrop behind God is in the shape of a brain. Michelangelo may have used this symbol to show God's plan of creation which had not yet been revealed to the first man.

The inspiration for Michelangelo's treatment of the subject may come from a medieval hymn called Veni Creator Spiritus, which asks the 'finger of the paternal right hand' (digitus paternae dexterae) to give the faithful speech, love and strength.

Anatomical theories

Several hypotheses have been put forward about the meaning of The Creation of Adam's highly original composition, many of them taking Michelangelo's well-documented expertise in human anatomy as their starting point. In 1990 (30 years ago) a physician named Frank Lynn Meshberger noted in the medical publication the Journal of the American Medical Association that the background figures and shapes portrayed behind the figure of God appeared to be an anatomically accurate picture (wallpaper) of the human brain, including the frontal lobe, optic chiasm, brain stem, pituitary gland, and the major sulci of the cerebrum. Alternatively, it has been observed that the red cloth around God has the shape of a human uterus (one art historian has called it a "uterine mantle"), and that the scarf hanging out, coloured green, could be a newly cut umbilical cord.

Other names:

Español: Creación de Adán
Deutsch: Die Erschaffung Adams
English: The Creation of Adam
Français : La Création d'Adam
Italiano: La creazione di Adamo




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