If youíre a Michelangelo fan, and who isnít, you are familiar with the vastness of his works in the 16th century, especially those depicting themes of Christianity. This being a Creativity Site, I had to focus on Michelangeloís Book of Genesis inspired The Creation of the Sun and Moon (1512). To understand the driving force behind this painting you must first understand Creationism.
In Creationism one believes that the earth and the entire universe for that matter was created by God or some other supreme being. Creationists fit in one of two categories, Young Earth Creationism or Old Earth Creationism. Young Earth Creationists believe the earth is around 6,000 years old, whereas the Old Earth Creationists believe the earth to be billions of years old. One thing both Creationists believe is that the earth and the entire human race, plants and animals were all supernaturally created by God. In essence, Creationists believe in the Genesis account that all human beings sprung forth from Adam and Eve. Although this is a simplification of the theory of Creationism, the point is to establish the mindset of Christianity as well as Godís power portrayed in art of that time.
Michelangelo was such a Creationist and thus portrays God in The Creation of the Sun and Moon in a manner to reflect Godís magnificence. Looking at the painting you will notice many bigger than life qualities. To begin with, God has a massive, strong physique. He is broad through the chest and shoulders and has large biceps and thighs. His strength shows that God is a mighty force to be respected and bowed down to. Yet, despite his impeccable physical strength he is portrayed as an older man with long grey hair to represent great wisdom. The expression on his chiseled face speaks of intense determination purposefulness, seriousness and wrathfulness. The way he is furloughing his brow almost makes God look angry. Those behind God appear to be cowering in awe or fear of his great powers. One person appears to have found quiet comfort in the shadows of God.
It is no accident that Michelangelo depicted God in an intensive, almost rageful manner on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He wanted God to look down upon the people with his intense eyes be admired in a heavenly fashion as the people of the times gazed upward to the images that told the story of manís arrival on earth through Godís graces in 7 days. The Creation of the Sun and Moon is revered as the greatest representation of God of all times.
Sacred Symbols, Clare Gibson, 1998 Saraban, Inc