The Sistine Chapel is one of the wonders of human art that is so hard to comprehend. How could one man create such a complex vision of human life?
If you look just below the centre, you will see an image which often feature. It is the creation of humanity:
Just below this you will see a bright yellow circle. That is the creation of the sun and the moon:
And working upwards from the creation of humanity, you see the fall of humanity…
…With the harrowing image of The Flood a few paintings higher:
Michelangelo has such a powerful, muscular view of humanity. The human being is fascinating, powerful, beautiful, strong. The Sistine Chapel shows us a narrative that puts humanity at the centre of the story of the universe, in both our most beautiful and tragic aspects.
To be human, he seems to say, has grandeur, and has pathos.
Love him, or hate him, who can deny the power of his vision?