Creation of Adam V The Crucifiction

Creation of Adam V The Crucifiction
The Creation of Adam is basically the embodiment of High Renaissance done by arguably the most talented artist the Western World has ever seen. The creation of Adam is high atop the Sistine Chapel ceiling and is the center panel of a massive undertaking. The painting has a central theme of God and Adam coming together to produce life. The Nude Adam, with a perfectly sculpted body, looks at God and tries to reach out. While some say Adam is getting life from God, others believe it is a soul, while others argue that it is the capability to reason. Regardless, the things that make it classical are the perfect proportions. The bodies are perfectly proportioned in comparison to other parts, and they are beautifully restrained. Both faces show little to no emotion, only a solemn stare. The painting suggests that God is about to give Adam the ?divine spark? which will ignite him to life. But it is the overall church-related importance that should be noted. It is an upbeat depiction of God and the creation of mankind. The figures are all beautiful in scale, proportion, subject matter, restraint, and simplicity. The picture speaks not through facial expressions but through the 2 fingers trying to make contact. This simplifies the picture, gives it a central focus, a focal point, and encompasses all that is High Renaissance. Matthias Gruenewald?s The Crucifiction, however, speaks through a much different medium. Michelangelo stayed true to High Renaissance ideals of restraint and harmony throughout his painting. Gruenewald?s interpretation of The crucifiction stands in stark contrast with Michelangelo?s painting because all regard for restraint and harmony is tossed aside. Gruenewald?s altarpiece shows a skinny, pale, dying Christ going through an immense amount of pain. Steering away from harmony, Gruenewald elongates Christ?s fingers and other important parts of his body. The twisted fingers point upward and the frail Christ is pierced with hundreds of thorns all over his body. His fingers seem to be seeking the approval of above, perhaps even asking for salvation. This openendedness speaks to the reader and spurs a sense of passion towards his cause. While Michelangelo chose to speak to the viewer through a focal point, Gruenewald speaks through emotion by means of anguish and pain. Keeping with humanism, he kept the painting simple, and spoke through the body through morphing certain appendages for emphasis and overall effect.
Michelangelo used vivid bright color to convey the overall good message of Christendom, choosing to paint the ideal parts of the religion. Gruenewald, however, took the more human aspect of pain and anguish and used it to charge his painting. Preferring rich dark colors he depicts the material others of the High Renaissance in Italy would shy away from. With little respect for balance and repose he captures the emotion and amplifies it for the viewer, leaving little doubt about the nature of the theme or its intended purpose. While both paintings appear worlds apart, they share two things: their respect for faith, and the fact that they are both defining paintings of their respective periods.

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