The Drunkenness of Noah





Image source: Michelangelo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Michelangelo's plan for the central panels of the ceiling fresco was that they would form a line symbolising the 'middle path', i.e. the path to God.

For that purpose, he picked 9 incidents from the Book of Genesis,
which is the first book of both the Hebrew Torah and the Christian Old Testament.

However, when the visitor moves from the entrance of the Chapel to the altar,
he/she would notice that the scenes above him do not follow the sequence of events in the Bible.
Instead, they go in reverse chronological order - which was precisely what Michelangelo intended.

His goal was to mislead and confuse the visitor to pinpoint mankind's internalised
inclination to make mistakes.

Going through the panels in the order that the painter intended them to follow,
the visitor finishes off with the scene of the Creation (The Separation of Light from Darkness), and then immediately
after looking down from the ceiling, he/she is faced with The Last Judgement.




That way, Michelangelo remakes the Biblical prophecy about our future Salvation by Jesus Christ,
with the aim of prompting us to put ourselves back in the path of God's Grace.