The famous Sistine Chapel ceiling has taken its show on the road. People from Australia to Mexico, Shanghai to New York, and more than 60 cities in between are enjoying a close-up look at Michelangelo’s vision of the creation story.
“Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition” began traversing the world in 2015 and is set to hit 80 cities by the end of this year. From the creation of Adam depicting the hand of God brush strokes away from Adam’s hand to the downfall of mankind; nine scenes from the Bible are brought to life in up-close and personal detail.
“It’s almost as if we’re looking at God creating the world, the beginning of Genesis and we’re seeing the cornucopia the richness of God’s creation unfolding in front of us,” Professor William Wallace, a Michelangelo expert from Washington University sais.
There’s no need for a deep background in art history to appreciate this masterpiece.
“Michelangelo is an artist who goes from zero to 60 in less than a second,” Wallace said. “He just is capable of undertaking monumental tasks and carrying them out so that suddenly the artist who’s never even painted a fresco paints the most important fresco in the world.”
The vault in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City is nearly seven stories high, with some 5,000 square feet of painting. Even on a curved ceiling, Michelangelo achieves a three-dimensional effect. “The technical challenges are astronomical, and it’s just amazing how well he solved all of them,” he said
Whether visitors are religious or not, Michelangelo’s image of God creating man is the ultimate symbol of the creation story. There is a scene in the movie “The Agony and the Ecstasy” when after years of agonizing struggle, Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) surveys the finished Sistine Chapel with Heston’s Michelangelo.
“What you have painted there my son is not a portrait of God,” the pope tells Michelangelo, “It’s a proof of faith.”
In the U.S. it is currently running in Oklahoma City, Denver, El Paso, Greenbay and Pittsburgh.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice