Sistine Chapel Ceiling and The Last Judgment Essay

In this research paper I will be looking at two different artworks by the same artist. The two I will be looking at are the Sistine Chapel Ceiling (1508-1512) and The Last Judgment (1534). Both of these painting are painted in the Sistine chapel which is located in the Vatican. I am going to attempt to evaluate these two pieces of art painted by Michelangelo and explain the cultural and religious aspects of them. I will also look to other scholars to get their perspective and their reactions to the paintings. The last step of my research will be to formulate a theory about the relationship between culture and religion and use my topic to help defend my theory.Michelangelo was born in a time in which the church had a great influence on most things that people did in their everyday life. He grew up in a wealthy family and was exposed to people of high position. The paintings and sculptures that Michelangelo created were strongly related to the Bible, and showed his respect and knowledge of the religion and culture he was brought up in. Starting with the Sistine Chapel ceiling, it has paintings that start with the creation of the world all the way to the flood and drunkenness of Noah. Michelangelo took four years to paint the ceiling and broke down different aspects of the earlier parts of the Bible throughout the ceiling. The most prominent paintings that are on the ceiling would have to be where God’s hand reaches out to Adam’s hand. This shows that Michelangelo views man and God as having a relationship where they know each other. Man can reach out to God, while God reaches down to man. With that being said, I believe this shows that the way in which man encounters God in this painting was a form of the ontological type. In …

…Henri Zerner. Italian Art 1500-1600. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1990), pp. 122.

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Partridge, Loren W., Gianluigi Colalucci, Fabrizio Mancinelli, and Francesco Buranelli. Michelangelo–the Last Judgment: A glorious restoration. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1997), pp. 8.

Seymour, Charles, and Buonarroti Michelangelo. Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel ceiling: Illustrations, introductory essays, backgrounds and sources, critical essays.( New York: Norton, 1995), pp. 172-173.

Tillich, Paul, and Robert C. Kimball. Theology of culture. (London [u.a.: Oxford Univ. P, 1964), pp. 10-48.

Vasari, Giorgio. Life of Michelangelo. [Translated by Gaston du C. de Vere.] (New York: St. Pauls, 2003), pp. 69-132.

Zawie, Nathan. “Michelangelo’s Last Judgment.” Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. 28 Sept. 2013 .


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