On the left, seen from behind he is creating the plants and the flora. In line with the book of Genesis verses 1:14 the plants were made on the third day and the sun and the moon on the next day.
In Michelangelo’s Creation of the sun, moon and plants there is an intense all action feeling with this scene as a dashing God is shown flying around with his arms raised commanding the celestial bodies into action.
With Gods right arm he is creating the sun and with his left arm the moon, before continuing to the left side of the fresco to create the plants.The creation is well and truly under way. There is a definite feeling when you gaze upon this image that you are seeing something special – THE creation.
Michelangelo has done a marvellous job bringing the whole scene to life with the beautiful way he has captured the wind upon the robes- it conveys speed, action and immediateness with a sense of purpose. The flowing beard and hair couples with the look of determination and concentration on Gods face. No time for stopping, I’ve got things to do.
The Sistine chapel fresco is a masterpiece of biblical art and one of the greatest renaissance paintings of 16thcentury Rome. The spectacular fresco was commissioned by Pope Julius in 1508 and the 33-year-old Michelangelo was chosen for the contract. Although he considered himself a sculptor at heart, not a painter, he accepted the commission and began the work.
Over the next 4 years, he decorated approximately 1000sq meters of ceiling with a mass of vividly coloured figure paintings, illustrating episodes of the book of genesis and other scenes of figures from the Old Testament.
At that time Michelangelo seemed unhappy with traditional working methods for the large task ahead, and interestingly the abilities of his assistants. Therefore he decided to paint the whole work by himself. Consequently, he was to spend the next 4 years working from scaffolding that was up to 60ft from the ground and painted in difficult conditions.
This was to have an adverse effect on his overall health, not only the awkwardness of painting ceiling but also occasionally paint drips to his eyes and face.
The work was finished in the October of 1512. The ceiling frescoes have lasted in good condition for over 500 years, this is attributed to Michelangelo's dedication to the cause, plus his training and influences such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Lorenzo Ghilberti and Bartoldo di Giovani.
It is said that Michelangelo was so dedicated to his love of art that from an early age he would concentrate more on his artistic talents, than his schoolwork.