500th Anniversary of the Sistine chapel ceiling


The BBC has produced a series of four podcasts of about 15 minutes each on the chapel ceiling. The Rev Lucy Winkett reflects on the choices of themes and the overall theological vision of Michelangelo, making observations on different figures such as Jonah and Adam and the representation of God in bodily form, moving in a striking and engaging way in the paintings and the stillness of the central painting of the Creation of Adam. A.C. Grayling outlines Michelangelo’s intention to celebrate humanity and sets his achievement in the context of Renaissance humanism pointing out the naturalistic attitudes of the figures, and their very human states of mind. He sees Michelangelo as transcending Plato’s division between the world of being and becoming in a new synthesis. Rachel Campbell-Johnston describes the process of restoration and the different views about the success of the recent project and Martin Kemp speaks about the changing reputation of Michelangelo through the last 500 years and the iconic significance of the Creation of Adam in our own time.


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