Saturday, June 28, 2008

Thoughts on Art

Moses- Michelangelo

I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about art but I certainly do appreciate it. What I find interesting in a piece of artwork brings me to search and learn more about. So I investigate, and read as much as I can. This particular statue is one I've been interested in for quite some time.

Michelangelo's works are some of my favorite. His paintings are beautiful (for example just look at the Sistine Chapel) but for me his sculptures are awe inspiring. Take this one of Moses. The intricacies of the fabric folded around his legs, the way his beard is brushed off to the side, and what about the beauty of the human form? One would hardly know that this was made out of stone. But does anyone else notice something...something different..?

Yes, Moses has horns. Odd, isn't it? I found the explanation to this very interesting. Apparently it is believed that this representation came from Exodus 34:29-35. In the passage we read about Moses coming down from Mount Sinai and that his "face was radiant" because he had spoken with the Lord. Through misrepresentation and an error in translation at the time of Michelangelo, artists began to depict Moses in numerous sculptures and paintings with horns on the top of his head. If you're interested you can read more about this at:

Here are a few other useless facts that I happen to find fascinating (yes, yes I know I'm a huge dork):
- Moses is the centerpiece of the tomb of Pope Julius II.
- If you notice Moses' torso, shoulders, and arms are larger, making them slightly disproportionate to the rest of the body. His face also has an overly dramatic expression. The reason for this is that when the statue was originally commissioned Moses was going to be placed on the upper part of the monument, where it would have been viewed from below.
- The face of Moses is also very similar to the face of God portrayed on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

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