The Creation of Adam by  Michelangelo - c. 1508–1512 - 280 × 570 cm Musei Vaticani The Creation of Adam by  Michelangelo - c. 1508–1512 - 280 × 570 cm Musei Vaticani

The Creation of Adam

fresco • 280 × 570 cm
  • Michelangelo - March 6, 1475 - February 18, 1564 Michelangelo c. 1508–1512

On this day in 1564, an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance, Michelangelo Buonarroti, died at the age of 88. What else could we feature in DailyArt today?  :)

The Creation of Adam is probably the most famous fresco in art history. Depicting a scene where God breathes life into Adam (the first human), this artwork is part of a broader thematic representation on the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, the fourth in a series illustrating episodes from Genesis.

Michelangelo came to Rome in 1505 at the invitation of Pope Julius II and was tasked with constructing the Pope's tomb, a project intended to feature 40 statues and be completed within five years. Michelangelo faced frequent interruptions from other papal assignments, however, leading to the tomb's prolonged incompletion over 40 years. During this time, Michelangelo undertook the Sistine Chapel ceiling painting, which took him four years to finish. Initially, he was to paint the Twelve Apostles on the ceiling's pendentives and add decorative elements. He persuaded Pope Julius to allow a more intricate scheme, however, encompassing the Creation, the Fall of Man, the Promise of Salvation through the prophets, and Christ's genealogy, which covers over 500 square meters and features more than 300 figures.

In The Creation of Adam God is portrayed as an elderly, bearded figure in a flowing cloak, reaching out to impart life into Adam, who is mirrored in a pose. This scene possibly draws inspiration from the medieval hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, emphasizing the divine origin of speech. The near-touching fingers of God and Adam, separated by a small gap, symbolize the elusive nature of divine perfection for humanity.

P.S. Have you heard of our How to Look At Art free course? It will make you enjoy art more and make you feel comfortable with it.  :)

P.P.S. Here's all you need to know about Michelangelo's The Last Judgment! For example, why it caused a huge scandal when it was completed.

P.P.P.S. Have you ever heard of Michelangelo's secret room in Florence, which was recently made available to the public? For more interesting stories about Michelangelo see the articles below.  :)