The Creation of Adam

Title: The Creation of Adam

Artist: Michelangelo Buonarroti

Date: 1510

Patron: Pope Julius II

Location: Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome

Medium: Fresco

Michelangelo’s Life and Works
Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475 in Caprese, Italy. He worked as a painter, sculptor, architect, and poet until he was almost ninety. As a student he studied the Bible, and used the stories and people in it for his painting and sculptures. “He was one of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance, a period when the arts and sciences flourished.”(Website Michelangelo-Italian Artist) At the age of twelve he became an apprentice to a prominent painter, but soon began to study sculptures instead. Somewhere between 1496 and 1501 Michelangelo was in Rome creating the “Bacchus” and the “Pieta”. The “Bacchus” was one of the few pagan works that Michelangelo created. The “Pieta” was Michelangelo’s vision of Madonna and Christ, and one of his most famous works of art. Mary being presented as peaceful and the realistic structures makes it a good example of Renaissance art. Between 1501 and 1504 Michelangelo began and completed the sculpture “David”.

Somewhere between 1505 and 1508 he was called by Pope Julius II to make a tomb for the Pope. Somewhere between 1508-1512 he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with the stories of the book of Geniuses. “The story of Creation that the ceiling spells out is far from simple, partly because Michelangelo was an exceedingly complicated man, partly because he dwells here on profundities of theology that most people need to spelt out for them, and partly because he has balanced his biblical themes and events with giant ingnudi.”(WebMuseum: Michelangelo) “ Scholars debate whether he had any guidance from the Church in the selection of the scenes, and what meaning the scenes were to convey.” (website michelangelo.html) Late in 1533, Michelangelo settled in Rome and painted the “The Last Judgement on the alter wall of the Sistine Chapel. It was the largest painting of his time.

Michelangelo was made chief architecture of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1546. He created the Saint Peter’s Basilica, which was one of his best achievements. It became a model dome for domes all over the world. He did two Frescoes in the Pauline Chapel in 1550 “The conversion of Paul” and “The Crucifixion of Peter.” He died on February 18, 1564 before he could complete his third “Pieta.”

Analyzed components of the ArtworkSubjectAdam and God reaching towards one another, fingers are almost touching.Message
“The Creation of Adam fresco shows Adam and God reaching towards each other, arms outstretched, fingers almost touching. One can imagine the spark of life jumping from God to Adam across the synapse between their fingertips. However, Adam is already alive, his eyes are opened, and he is completely formed; but it is the intent of the picture that Adam is to receive something from God.” (website michelangelo.html)

The design of this fresco is not overly complex. There is horizontal movement converging to the middle of the piece. A viewer may focus on either Adam or God, but the focal point will become the center of the painting. Adam, who is on the left, appears to be laying on a piece of Earth near a body of water. God is coming in from the right hovering or riding on an abstract vehicle. Some experts claim that God is riding on a cross section of the human brain. Because the vehicle is so abstract it remains open for many interpretations. Regardless, the outstretched arms of Adam or God pull the viewers attention to the middle of the piece; where a symbolic exchange takes place between Adam and God.


The style on this one was hard for me to choose I can see a little abstract with God being in the clouds or possibly on a brain. I can see some naturalism with Adam he is in natural surroundings. If I had to choose in my opinion it would be naturalism-idealism.
Work Cited


Michelangelo-Italian Artist http://www/