Painting, Sketching & Enjoying Arts

Sibyl in the Sistine Chapel,

The creation of Adam is probably Michelangelo’s most famous fresco in the Sistine Chapel but Sibyl is a good second. It’s strange to see old Roman and Greek prophets in a Christian church but it is very kind not to forget ancient pagan religions.

Sistine Chapel is an amazing experience and just before Covid it was less crowded than usual. I had plenty of time to look at all the frescoes and saw Sibyl in beautiful light trough the opposite window. I made a picture with my mobile phone and the colors looked different that the reality at that moment. But light changes constantly and so the tone of colors change. Later at home I wasn’t satisfied with the picture I took and started to search the internet. In almost all pictures, the colors differ somehow. Depending on the light or maybe the camera, it is always just a bit different. Finally I took my own picture as reference and started to make the painting of Sibyl.

Once you start copying you discover details that you initially missed. Sibyl’s arms for instance, are very masculine. Who was the model? Maybe Michelangelo himself. And how about her pupils. They are not the same in both eyes. Why is that? Anyway, I made the copy as accurate as possible. I am not the person to correct Michelangelo. Copying is already very difficult.

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