- Author: Michelangelo Buonarroti
- Museum: The Sistine Chapel
- Year: 1508-1512 ⇐ Click image for larger version
Description of the picture:
Persian Sibyl - Michelangelo Buonarroti. Fresco. 1508-1512. Gold plaster. 40x14 m.
The Sibyls in the era of antiquity called prophetess. Their figures have always been shrouded in tragic mystery, mainly because the Sibyl's predictions were most often associated with some impending disaster.
The heroine of the work of the "Divine" Michelangelo lived in Persia in the 13th century BC. It is believed that this young-looking seeker predicted the acts of Alexander the Great, as well as the appearance of Jesus Christ. She left her notes in 24 books of prophecy. Predictions are written in verses with ambiguous semantic content. Like the quatrains of Nostradamus, the records of the Sibyl can be read in this and that way.
The Babylonian Sibyl bore the name of Samphebe, and in her youth she wore golden clothes. In the present work, we see that Samphebe is already at a rather advanced age. She is wearing a beautiful, bright dress and a cape. Michelangelo, with his inherent skill, delightfully conveys their elaborate drapery. East Sibyl almost turned away from the viewer - the artist does not allow us to see her face. The heroine brings the open book close to her eyes, which again indicates her respectable age - she does not see so well anymore. Perhaps she is looking for something, and maybe reading some of her prophecies.
Behind her, with his arms folded at his chest, a man listens attentively, another Sibyl guest looks out behind him. Michelangelo does not leave us any clues as to whether this is a prediction, happy or bad, but in the figure of the figure, the great master of the Renaissance gives accurate characteristics of his heroine: elderly, but still clear in the mind, with a bent back, but energetic and active.
For the image of a sibyl, the painter uses soft tones — a delicate, pink color of a cape, a light green dress, a snow-white, luminous shirt, and a scarf equally complicated on his head.
The meager means of emotional expressiveness inherent in the Renaissance epoch were Michelangelo's great enough to create a heroine who felt the inner strength, indomitable spirit, sacral wisdom. The author did not even have to show faces that would acquaint the viewer with the Persian Sibyl so closely.
In the Sistine Chapel, the visitor will be able to find four more ancient soothsayers whose history has preserved the names: in addition to the Persian heroine, Michelangelo depicted the Libyan, Delphic, Eritrean and Kuma Sibyll on the frescoes.
Other paintings by Michelangelo Buonarroti
Conversion of the Apostle Paul
Creation of Adam
The torment of St. Anthony
Crucifixion of saint peter
The prophet Ezekiel
The prophet Zechariah
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