365 Days of Art: October 4 – Following Extended Break, Michelangelo Resumes Work on Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo, The Creation of Adam, 1511 (Sistine Ceiling 1508-1512)

Michelangelo, The Creation of Adam, 1511 (Sistine Ceiling 1508-1512)

October 4, 1511

After a break of 14 months to accommodate a halfway unveiling ceremony as well as Michelangelo’s travel to Milan to get money from Pope Julius, Michelangelo and his team finish rebuilding their scaffolding and resume work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

After the opportunity to critique his work from the ground without the scaffolding in the way, Michelangelo executes the work now in a different style. Deciding that the fuller panels with smaller figures are too difficult to read from the ground, from here on out, Michelangelo will simplify and emphasize the core figures. The figures will now be 4 feet larger, with fewer figures per scene. Due to Pope Julius’ recent health scare, he also works now with a sense of urgency since he worries a new Pope might not continue the commission.

The first project in the new style is The Creation of Adam.