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  • November 2012
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500 Years of Almost Touching

You’ve probably seen the image above before, maybe on a coffee mug or t-shirt or something like that.  If you’re like me and somewhat haphephobic, your first thoughts were probably along the lines of: “What’s with all the creepy finger touching merch?” or “Is that like some weird old school handshake… ‘cos it’s all kinds of wrong.”

My assorted neuroses aside, the almost finger touch is actually the most famous part of what is, arguably, the most famous ceiling in the world – that of the Sistine Chapel.  Said ceiling, painted by the Italian master (and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle namesake) Michelangelo, recently turned the big 5-0… 0.  The work was unveiled to the public on November 1, 1512.

The ceiling was completed in a mural style known as fresco, meaning that the scenes were painted directly onto freshly laid plaster and are actually part of the chapel’s structure.  Michelangelo initially rejected the offer to take on the elaborate project, as he saw himself as a sculptor rather than a painter; however, he was persuaded by friends and fellow artists – who secretly wished to see him fail on a grand scale – to take the job.  They must have been some great pals.

After four grueling years of working in all kinds of contorted positions, Michelangelo beat the haters by depicting nine scenes populated with a total of 343 figures; scenes, viewed from 66 feet below, that remain as vivid in presentation and emotion as they did 500 years ago.

TEENS + ART =

                                        

Jon : Carrick

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