Today is All Saints Day, and Pope Julius II chose this day in 1512
to display Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
for the first time.
Michelangelo, only 33 at the time, didn't want to take on the job. He tried
to explain that he was a sculptor not a painter. But the Pope wouldn't
take no for an answer. And so Michelangelo had to take on one of the most
difficult fresco paintings in history.
To paint a fresco, you have to
apply wet plaster to a wall and then paint over the plaster before it
dries. Michelangelo had to do all this on a 10,000-square-foot ceiling
60 feet above the ground. Study of the ceiling has shown that while
Michelangelo started out by making sketches for his paintings, he may
have been in a rush to finish, because he wound up painting a lot of
the ceiling freehand.
The German writer Wolfgang von Goethe wrote,
"We cannot know what a human being can achieve until we have seen [the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel]."
(with Thanks to Writer's Digest)
Page constructed by