Michelangelo ‘The Creation of Adam’
New times call for new ways of artistic expression. But some paintings never age. Even after many centuries, they retain their amazing power and keep touching our souls. Everyone probably knows this image – a naked man lying on a green meadow and reaching out to God who holds out his hand from the skies, escorted by soaring angels. This is ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo, a legendary Renaissance painter and sculptor. The painting has become symbolic and gained wide popularity as a sensual and poetic illustration of a well-known Biblical myth.
Metaphor of life
Michelangelo created his best-known work between 1508 and 1512 while painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It is part of the huge 500 square meter fresco covering the vault of the church that illustrates the key events from the Bible. 'The Creation of Adam' shows God bringing the first man to life with the touch of his hand. Surrounded by swirling cloaks and a crowd of angels, he descends to Adam from heaven and extends his arm to infuse a divine spark into the cold clay body. Adam lies on the ground from which he was just made, completely nude in his innocence, his pose mirroring that of God to remind us that we are all created in his image and likeness. Their fingers nearly touch and we are about to witness the birth of the human race.
Symbols and interpretations
- · The feminine figure at God’s left arm is thought to be Eve. She is the only one looking straight at Adam.
- · The figures and shapes in the backdrop are claimed to replicate the structure of the human brain. This theory is supported by Michelangelo’s extensive anatomical knowledge.
- · Some even believe the red cloak around God may symbolize the uterus while the flapping green scarf stands for an umbilical cord that has just been cut. That would explain why Adam, who was actually made of clay, not born, is painted with a navel.
Of course, it would be great to have your entire ceiling painted like the Sistine Chapel. But a nice oil replica of ‘The Creation of Adam’ will do just fine instead. This beautiful reproduction performed on a premium cotton canvas shows the key fragment of the original fresco – two hands reaching out for each other to create life. Find a place for it on your wall and enjoy this magnificent scene whenever you need a moment of inspiration!