Michelangelo and the Creation of Man

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michelangelo-creation-of-adam

First time I’ve heard it but, this week I discovered that in Michelangelo‘s “Creation of Man” the figure of God and the Heavenly Host actually form the shape of a human brain. I don’t know why I have never noticed that before, especially since I own and have read a few of books on Michelangelo. Now I will never be able to un-see that brain. Michelangelo is known for his dissection of human cadavers, his biological research, and his understanding of human anatomy. For me, at least, the brain is clearly there. Because I have some understanding of Michelangelo’s character and personality through what I’ve read and my study of art history, I think its completely intentional.

I have my own thoughts on why he’d overlay God onto a human brain, but I’ll leave it for you to judge for yourself.

Michelangelo-Sistine-Chapel-Adam-Brain-

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4 Responses to “Michelangelo and the Creation of Man”

  1. Somerset Wedding Gal Says:

    That is so odd! I never saw that before either, I suppose that would explain the touching of the two figures? Connection with the mind and everything…

  2. Todd Powelson Says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who had never noticed.. So many ways to interpret that brain :)

  3. Tom Roark Says:

    I can’t buy it. The guy was incredibly in love with the human male figure, but he was also incredibly devout and lived half a millennium ago. God-as-mind is more of an Enlightenment, if not 20th century, idea.

    • Todd Powelson Says:

      I can clearly see the brain, but fair enough. You’re right, he is remembered as a devout man, but its also known that Michaelangelo had many conflicts with the Catholic church and Pope specifically, and he didn’t even want to be painting the ceiling. I’ve also read that he had a very broad education, with an emphasis on neoplatonism and maybe even the ancient mystery schools. Perhaps youre right, God as mind is associated with the enlightenment and the 20th century, but I think that the idea existed long before that. I also don’t think that is the only way to interpret the image, if it is in fact a brain…

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