Saturday, February 2, 2013

Italian Renaissance (pt. 17)

To paint the 1,000 square meters of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo built a scaffold up to the 68-foot tall ceiling and there lay on his back, refusing the aid of assistants, for four years, only ever coming down to sleep.  Michelangelo also never removed his boots, and so when the leather eventually fell off, thick layers of dead skin went with it.  (The artist was not keen on hygiene.)
The astounding end result was the most decorative ceiling in all the world, containing 145 individual pictures and more than 300 figures, all detailing the biblical story (with additions of Greco-Roman mythology) of humanity from the Creation to the Flood.

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