During our last trip to Rome the Sistine Chapel was closed for the day – that was quite the disappointment. But, since I had thrown a coin into the Trevi Fountain on that visit I knew I would return. This time I was not disappointed. Michelangelo’s magnificent ceiling was more beautiful than I had imagined. But it was his The Last Judgment painting that got to me. As you walk into the Chapel, you pass under The Last Judgment. The symbolism was striking. I entered into the chapel under judgment. I walked out in freedom because of what Christ did for me. He took my penalty. The One who was sinless has cloaked me in his righteousness. Such a picture!
Photographs are not allowed to be taken in the Sistine Chapel. The tour guides take you to the museum gardens near the chapel and explain what you will see. There are panels with pictures of all of the art work displayed for their tutorial. This is a picture of The Last Judgment from one of those panels.
Of course it does not do the original work justice, but in case you have not seen it before, I wanted to show you. Especially vivid is the bottom right corner where those who were not covered by the blood of Jesus entered eternal damnation. Of interest, the man depicted prominently is said to have criticized Michelangelo’s work. I guess that is one way to be immortalized in art.
The other work that affects me so much that I find it difficult to stop looking at it is La Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelangelo was 23 when he was commissioned to do this work.
Our guide told us that it is said that Michelangelo worked alone. Other artists had students who often worked on projects with them, but Michelangelo did these two works of art alone. My take on what she said is that his genius did not lend itself to working and playing well with others. That made me think of how God has gifted people so individually for the work that he has for them. Perhaps If Michelangelo was more of a teacher or less of a perfectionist he would not have created these masters. I am not an art scholar by any means, but that was food for thought for me.