”Sistine Chapel ceiling”

Artist: Michelangelo

Dimensions: 40 m x 14 m

Art form: Fresco

Location: Sistine Chapel , Vatican

Created: 1508–1512

Period or movement: High Renaissance

History

The Sistine Chapel stands on the foundation of an older chapel called the Capella Magna. In 1477, Pope Sixtus IV instigated a rebuilding of the chapel, which was then named for him.

The chapel is 40.23 meters long, 13.40 meters wide, and 20.70 meters high (about 132 by 44 by 68 feet) — reputedly, the dimensions of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed in A.D. 70. The chapel’s exterior is simple and unassuming, giving little hint to the splendid decoration inside.

Pope Sixtus IV commissioned celebrated painters, including Botticelli and Rosselli, to decorate the chapel. At this point, the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling was painted like a simple blue sky with stars.

In 1503, a new pope, Julius II, decided to change some of the Sistine Chapel’s decoration. He commanded artist Michelangelo to do it. Michelangelo balked, because he considered himself a sculptor, not a painter, and he was hard at work sculpting the king’s tomb. But Pope Julius insisted, and Michelangelo began work on his famous frescoed ceiling in 1508. He worked for four years. It was so physically taxing that it permanently damaged his eyesight.

More than 20 years later, Pope Clement VII commissioned Michelangelo to paint the giant fresco “The Last Judgment” behind the altar. The artist, then in his 60s, painted it from 1536 to 1541.

[SOURCE:livescience.com]

”Medusa”

Title: Medusa

Author: Caravaggio 

Year: 1597

Style: Baroque

Genre: mythological painting

Media: oil, canvas

Location: Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

Medusa was a Gorgon monster, a terrifying female creature from the Greek Mythology. While descriptions of Gorgons vary across Greek literature, the term commonly refers to any of three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying visage that turned those who beheld it to stone. Traditionally, while two of the Gorgons were immortal, Stheno and Euryale , their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by the mythical hero Perseus, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty. According to the story, she was killed by Perseus, who avoided direct eye contact by using a mirrored shield. After Medusa’s death, her decapitated head continued to petrify those that looked at it.

[SOURCE:wikiart.org]

”Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence”

Title: Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence

Author: Titian

Year: 1565

Style: Mannerism

Genre: allegorical painting

Media: oil, canvas

Location: National Gallery, London, UK

The painting portrays three human heads, each facing in a different direction, above three animal heads, depicting (from left) a wolf, a lion and a dog. The painting is usually interpreted as operating on a number of levels. At the first level, the different ages of the three human heads represent the “Three Ages of Man” (youth, maturity, old age). The different directions in which they are facing reflect a second, wider concept of Time itself as having a past, present and future. This theme is repeated in the animal heads which, according to some traditions, are associated with those categories of time.