Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Michelangelo's Noah in the Sistine Chapel

"Noah . . .  became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent . . . "

"Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness . . . "

"Shem and Japheth  . . . turned the other way so they would not see . . . "

An exhibition of actual-size reproductions of images from the Sistine Chapel is currently to be seen at Vienna's Votivkirche.

Michelangelo's depiction of Noah's right hand, seen here in close-up, is unusual to say the least.

It might be an interesting exercise to compare Noah's hand with the artist's depiction of a cloven foot in the following picture of Noah's sons sacrificing a couple of rams.


  1. An interesting detail - though I think that he pictured the hand as he saw it, covered by the cloth. Though - come to think of it: if Ham had committed incest - or raped his son - the similarity to a (devil's) cloven foot might have been well intended.

    1. Michelangelo and his assistants had to paint what they were told by their paymasters to paint. To me the painted hand resembles a pig's trotter. On Poet-in-Residence Michelangelo's God is showing his bare backside to the viewer. The artist and his employer were obviously not without an opinion.

  2. Replies
    1. It's wonderful to be able to examine these important artworks in detail.
      We owe a debt of thanks to Austrian photographer Erich Lessing.

  3. Of the misshapen, their gyve.