In 1503, Julius II succeeded Alexander VI as Pope. During this time, a 29-year-old artist had distinguished himself as the perfect sculptor. He produced works with spectacular detail, the likes of which the world had never seen. His name was Michelangelo. Julius II was so impressed he requested that the young artist sculpt his future burial tomb. While Michelangelo worked on the tomb, the original architect of St. Peter’s Basilica, Donato Bramante, convinced Julius to instead have Michelangelo paint the vault of the Sistine Chapel. Bramante was a friend of Michelangelo’s rival artist, Raphael. The hope and motivation was to get Michelangelo away from his perfect sculpting craft and onto painting in frescos, where he had no experience. The result, he assumed, would be a rise of admiration of the work of his friend Raphael as the superior artist overall.
The plan backfired. As the noted art historian Giorgio Vasari wrote of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel,
“The whole world came running when the vault was revealed, and the sight of it was enough to reduce them to stunned silence.”
As impressive an artist as Michelangelo is, he pales in comparison to the Master Creator of this world. The same one represented in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. There are many days where we miss the intricate detail and beauty that God made. Here are some great ways to enjoy and appreciate God’s creation with your family.
Let’s Talk: How do you honor creation and the Creator?