Humanities Final Questions

Humanities Final Questions - What makes Michelangelo's Last...

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What makes Michelangelo’s Last Judgment so different from traditional Biblical art? Apart from its technical mastery, the painting is noted for its radical departures from traditional depictions of the Last Judgment. In particular, firstly, the overall structure seems to swirl around Christ at the centre, replacing the traditional pattern of horizontal layers depicting heaven, earth and hell; and secondly, the figure of Christ himself, beardless and muscular, surrounded by light, which has often been compared to the classical sun-god Apollo. One week before commissioning the work, Pope Clement VII is known to have been studying the new heliocentric cosmology of Copernicus. There seems a real possibility that the painting is in part as an allegory of the new cosmology, with Christ as the sun in the centre of the universe. The Last Judgment was an object of a heavy dispute between Cardinal Carafa and Michelangelo: the artist was accused of immorality and intolerable obscenity, having depicted naked figures, with genitals in evidence, inside the most important church of Christianity, Explain Augustus Primaporta as an example of Imperial Roman Propagandistic art.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HU 101 taught by Professor Vail during the Fall '07 term at BU.

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Humanities Final Questions - What makes Michelangelo's Last...

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