Michelangelo's Fresco The Last Judgment Essay

Michelangelo's Fresco The Last Judgment Essay

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Art, by definition, is “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings”. Throughout history, one way that art has been used is to reflect a multitude of ideas and beliefs. Christian beliefs and ideas have been portrayed in artwork since the beginning of Christianity, although, it was not always acceptable to do so. The idea of the final judgement is a Christian idea that has been displayed in art repeatedly in a variety of ways. Michelangelo’s fresco the Last Judgment (1536-1541) is a piece that visualizes this idea. Since the time it was finished, this significant piece found in the Sistine Chapel has been continuously critiqued and analyzed. Many Christians struggle to interpret the event of a final judgment after reading it through Scripture. In analyzing Michelangelo’s piece, it is similar difficult to determine what he exactly meant to portray and what the various part of his masterpiece represent exactly. Many have examined this piece and made different regarding what exactly the various figures and objects are supposed to represent. The diverse interpretations of this work further shows the idea that when Christian ideas are reflected through artwork, it is hard to ascertain exactly what an artist intended to demonstrate. In addition, the controversies surrounding this piece represent the idea that when Christian ideas are revealed through art, there is potential for disagreement regarding what should and should not be included in Christian art. Michelangelo’s Last Judgment is just an example of what results when Christianity is brought into art.
In 1535, Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Paul III to complete the Last Judgm...


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Hall, Marcia B. 1976. "Michelangelo's Last Judgment: Resurrection of the Body and
Predestination." Art Bulletin 58, no. 1: 85. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed March 24, 2014).
Partridge, Loren. 1998. “Michelangelo: The Last Judgment A Glorious Restoration. The
Sixteenth Century Journal, no 2:20. JStor (accessed March 24, 2014).
Preston, Patrick A. 2005. "The Critical Reception of Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgment’: The
Theological Context." Reformation & Renaissance Review: Journal of The Society For Reformation Studies 7, no. 2/3: 337-346. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed March 24, 2014).
Shrimplin, Valerie. 1994. “Hell in Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment.” Artibus et Historiae, no.
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