The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is the place where one of the greatest master pieces of all times, ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo Buonarrotti is seen.This Chapel has a section which consists of nine different paintings which are further grouped under three sections based on the Genesis viz., Story of Creation, Story of Adam and Eve and Story of Noah.
The Creation of Adam is a part of the second group listed above in which Adam, the epitome of charm is portrayed as a handsome young man. The moment which is captured in this piece of art is that divine moment when Adam is endowed with spirit, cognizance and soul by the Supreme Creator.
God here who is pointing his finger towards Adam is given a human form by the artist. He is depicted as an old man with silver hair and beard to symbolize wisdom and grace. The command and power of the Almighty is seen by the sharpness in the face of the character etched by Michelangelo.
God is seen with his angels within a shell and the angels look towards different directions from within the shell. The shell is in the shape of the human cerebrum and many consider this to symbolize the endowment of intellect.
The feature that is frequently pointed out by many is the way in which the hands of both God and Adam are drawn. It looks clearly as though Adam is receiving and the pointed finger of God shows that he is ‘granting’ life to Adam.
The simple yet clear manner of this part of the painting is the best feature of this piece.
There are many interpretations, analogies and hypotheses which have been drawn over the years from this painting. Many of these relate to Michelangelo’s knowledge of anatomy, some about Greek mythologies, arguments about the order of creation and many other inferences based on historical facts and symbolism.