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Art - Essay Example

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It was during the 16th century that the authority of pope was tested, especially when a German theologian, Martin Luther led the protestant reformation (Burke 95). It was…
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Download file to see previous pages The Last Judgment is a painting on fresco done by Michelangelo between 1536 and 1541. The painting is at the wall behind the altar at the Vatican Sistine chapel. The fresco is considered to be a breath taking and among Michelangelo’s last art works. In this art piece, Michelangelo depicts the end of the world and the imminent judgment. In this work, all the subjects are stripped naked; symbolizing the stripping of all earthly ranks, and they all appear equal before Christ (Burke 93). The whole painting radiates around Christ and the saved people can be seen rejoicing in light while the damned are being siphoned into the dark underworld.
The painting was commissioned by Pope Paul III, who had a lot of faith in Michelangelo’s artistic proficiency. As a religious piece, the work was criticized for its use of nudity, but the Pope did not see any mishap. The painting was also not entirely relying on the bible as it would have been expected; it drew a lot of inspiration from mythological creatures like Charon, seen pulling unsaved subjects and judge Minos as a judge in the underworld (Burke 94). The subject matter of the whole piece is The Last Judgment, and it is depicted as an event where all people will be equal. The only thing that makes the difference is their earthly character, which would condemn them to the heavenly kingdom or to the underworld suffering. This is seen as the damned are crying as they are ferried by Charon towards the underworld where judge Minos is judging them (Burke 95). The saved people are seen rejoicing and happy before the lighted ring with Christ their savior welcoming them. The art piece includes many saints who have in their hands the weapons of their martyrdom that contrasts the actual scene of torture. An example is Saint Bartholomew who was skinned alive. As a martyred said, Bartholomew is seen holding his skin in his left hand and a knife in his right hand. The skin is believed to be a portrait of the artist, which is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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