The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

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The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

Painting NameThe Creation of Adam
Painter NameMichelangelo
Completion Date1512
Place of CreationVatican City
Size570 cm x 280 cm (225 in x 110 in)
TechniqueFresco
Current LocationVatican city

The Creation of Adam is a part of the Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco created by Michelangelo. It is the most famous part of the whole ceiling. The depiction represents God accompanied by angles giving the ‘touch of life’ to Adam. It is a visual representation of the event from the Book of Genesis when on the sixth day, god created Adam, eve and other flora and fauna.

Story of Creation of Adam and Eve

According to the Book of Genesis (the first book of the Hebrew Bible), God first created Adam on the sixth day. He put him in the Garden of Eden and went away to create other things like animals, trees, rivers, etc. (including trees of knowledge and life). Then after he brought all the animals to Adam to give them some names. Adam named every one of them but didn’t find any of the animals to be a good companion for him.

Later on the sixth day, he fell asleep. God took a rib out of Adam and closed the wound. And from that rib, god created eve and gave it to Adam after he woke up. Adam named her “Woman”. He didn’t call her “Eve” until their expulsion from the garden.

The Creation of Adam analysis

Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel fresco The Creation of Adam captures the moment when god breathed life in Adam after he created him from dust. The moment of giving life is shown as touching fingers. Though, in the painting, their fingers don’t touch. They are on the verge. It is a moment right before Adam was created.

There also happens to be idea spurred about the figures circling around the god. God’s second hand goes around feminine figures shoulders. That figure is identified many times as Virgin Mary, personification of human soul or angel or even unborn Eve. The surface of the ceiling is deteriorating and there are many clear cracks visible.

Being a part of the ceiling The Creation of Adam is accompanied by Creation of Eve on the left and the picture of god dividing water from earth on the right.

Speculations

Well, critics aren’t going to see the painting as it is. They have to conjure up, speculate or dig out new meanings, secret meanings and theories from such famous artworks.

The allure is obvious. Renaissance painters like Michelangelo, Leonardo, etc were the best minds of their times and it is unwise to think that their masterpieces could not inherit much more deeper thoughts, intentions and ideas during their creation.

During Renaissance understanding the human anatomy was one of the best practices held by the artists. A new wave had spread about depicting human figure to the most accurate scale.

In 1990 Indiana Physician called Frank Lynn Meshberger found out some relations between the painting and the human brain’s patterns in his research. He said that the parts and patterns of human brain resembles with the god, angels and the red cloth around the figures. And it’s likely to be true as renaissance artists were known to explore the human body.

Adam and Eve’s connection with Hinduism?

Although, the evidence aren’t full proof they have substance enough to intrigue us in thinking that the story of creation of man has some connections with stories of Hinduism.

There happens to be many stories and characters similar between Hinduism and western mythologies and Sanskrit suggested to be the mother of all European language. And this speculation could just be another such example.

According to the story in Book of Genesis, Eve was created from the rib of man. Now, the word used for rib is Tsela. The word has multiple meanings. It could mean rib and also could mean side. Meaning, God created Eve from the side of Adam. Or she is supposed to be a side of Adam or Adam and Eve are yin and yang and are half of each other.

Now, in Hinduism, there already happens to be a concept of Ardhangini. The term’s literal meaning  is wife being the half body of the husband. The concept is derived from the ultimate Hindu god and goddess Shiva and Parvati’s avatar of Ardhnarishwar (literal meaning, God with half body of woman). Thus, goddess Parvati is the half part of the lord Shiva himself or a side.

Now, this could seem very thin connection. But, on the other hand, both stories have happened thousands of years ago and there are possibilities for add-ons, deformation and drifting away from the main source during the thousands of retelling of the myths.

 

Anyhow, The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo sits as one iconic painting in the history. You can see lots of parody works on Google proving its reach and popularity in modern culture.

By the way, which is the most popular and recognized imitation of the painting? Here is a hint: it includes hands of an alien and a boy.

If you know the answer, let us know by writing it down in the comment section.

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