Sistine Chapel Last Judgment Michelangelo 2 of 2 3D virtual tour documentary



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All images of the Judgment up to that time had God on a throne in the center, with angels and saints ranged along horizontal lines. Michelangelo again started an artistic revolution, developing his story along perpendicular axes. His work invades the enormous white wall, that seems to explode in a whirlwind of figures that all rotate around a central figure, apparently without rules. All it takes is to observe with a little more attention to see that the scene begins on the left, where the blessed rise towards heaven. God is in the center but this time looks like “Christ the Judge” and his position is the same as the Apollo of the Belvedere, the famous statue found in the Vatican and imitated throughout the entire Renaissance. His hand, in a circular movement, moves the whole scene, letting the damned fall towards Hell and help the blessed into heaven. The Last Judgment of the Sistine Chapel has nothing to do with the anatomy lessons of the ceiling. Here, the naked bodies —particularly those of the damned— no longer have noble and composed positions instead they're gawky and muddy as they scream and scramble they're almost caricatures of all that is negative in the human condition. If you concentrate on the scene, you can almost hear the screams of pain the noise of the souls rushing to their own destinies and the deafening trumpets that announce the end times. Only in the center does the scene seem suspended in an unreal silence. Even the saints and martyrs, all turned towards Christ, are anxious and terrified as they wait for the final verdict to be pronounced. Even the Madonna is timid and resigned at his side. Some of the blessed kiss each other and hug one another with enormous relief Up above, outside the circular movement, angels almost threateningly carry the cross and symbols of the passion. Christ the judge is wrapped in a blinding light, nonetheless both the damned and the blessed can't help looking towards him. In the Last Judgment, too, the images don't all have the same perspective. The figures of the blessed and the damned are randomly grouped or distance themselves, leaving blue spaces every corner is frescoed with infinite care given to the tiniest details. Some of the saints are easily recognizable because they hold the symbols of their story or their martyrdom in there hands. Saint Peter, on Jesus's right, holds the two keys, Saint Lawrence holds the grate and Saint Sebastian kneels, holding the arrows with which he was martyred. One of the most famous images is Saint Bartholomew who died skinned alive: the saint, seated on a cloud, is painted as Pietro Aretino, the Tuscan poet who had dared to criticize nudity, but the most celebrated detail of all is the skin that the saint holds in his hand, in which Michelangelo put his self-portrait; in fact, at the height of his creative work, the artist truly felt skinned alive by those insistent criticisms. On the lower right, the angels of the Apocalypse sound their trumpets with every breath in their body, blowing out their cheeks to the bursting point to wake the dead. Angels and demons pitilessly let the desperate damned fall into Hell. As your gaze drops slowly downwards, the scenes become more and more terrible until you arrive at Charon who beats the souls away from his boat with an oar and sends them off towards Minos, the judge of Hell, wrapped in a serpent. The figure of Minos, besides being recognized as the pope's Master of Ceremonies was also identified with Pierluigi Farnese, son of pope Paul III who, in Rome, was known for acts of violence and sodomy. On the left, according to the theory of the Resurrection of the Flesh, the reborn rise into heaven, getting their bodies back, some of them holding a rosary, a criticism of the Luther’s theories.