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Š copyrighted material available for consultation The Sistine Ceiling and the Holy Spirit Paulo Martins Oliveira As detailed in parallel studies, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel combines different layers of meaning, actually following the request of Pope Julius II himself. The artistic superimposition of various narratives was being explored by Michelangelo and some other painters, refining the previous developments of Sandro Botticelli, who in turn was based on earlier Flemish concepts. By ordering such multi-layered model, Julius II wanted to ensure that the Sistine Chapel – the main symbol of the Rovere Popes – would also be an intellectual monument, capable of dazzling and challenging the sagacity of all senior clergymen. In this context, Michelangelo designed sophisticated images that constantly merge the the New Testament. But at the same time, he also incorporated surreptitious levels of that express his freethought views, including subtle criticisms about the papacy institutional Church, as well as considerations on the dual nature of Christ, and even taunts directed at rival artists. Old and meaning and the personal Thus, the schemes planned by Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel can be seen as a complex and protean system. A significant example of this symbolic engineering is the Creation of Adam, which is deliberately ambiguous and made of compromise solutions. Michelangelo Buonarroti The Creation of Adam 1

The Sistine Ceiling and the Holy Spirit (©, available for consultation)

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