The Creation of the Sun, Moon and Plants




Image source: Michelangelo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This is one of the last ceiling panels that Michelangelo painted.
At this point, he had already spent almost 4 years
chained to the scaffolding which he used to paint
on the ceiling of the Chapel. He felt forced to paint
and deprived of the opportunity to create real art.
In his eyes, sculpture was a superior form of art to painting,
and he thought of himself first and foremost as a sculptor.
He blamed Pope Julius II for his misfortune;
therefore, he longed for vengeance. Michelangelo went
out of his way to achieve this objective by including
one particularly fine detail in The Creation of the Sun, Moon and Plants.

In the left half of the fresco, God is in the midst of creating
the Sun. Therefore, He is facing away from the viewer,
whereby His robe is revealing a strategically chosen part of
His backside. The image conveys a very clear message:
it is as if the Creator himself is mocking Pope Julius II
from the chapel ceiling.