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Reflecting on Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam”


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Creation of Adam

Michelangelo’s’ “The Creation of Adam” on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest works of art.  This masterpiece provides reflection and discussion on theological principles, art aesthetics, and thoughts on human psychology.  While the entire painting beholds the eye, it is God’s finger reaching out to Adam’s that is the most famous of all.  God is stretching out his finger while Adam appears to be rather lax in extending his finger to God.

 

Many scholars have made their observations known of the Creation of Adam’s remarkable and inspired composition.  Frank Meshberger, a physician from Anderson, Indiana, wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the background behind God as an anatomically correct rendering of the human brain.  I am enthralled.  When looking at this painting closely, it is amazing; the frontal lobe, the brain stem, the pituitary gland, the optic chiasm, and the major sulci of the cerebrum are all presented accurately.  The red scarf around God has the shape of the human uterus, and the green scarf appears to be a cut umbilical cord.

God and Adams' hands

Again, I am drawn to the two hands.  How often do we hear that we need to listen to the Holy Spirit, higher intelligence, the still small voice, the giant within, and cosmic command?  We have the ability, but it is us that must make the effort.  God is reaching out, but Adam appears rather listless and unmotivated.  Answers, help, and success is before us if only we make the effort to reach out, seek, and then make the effort to listen.