Monday, January 11, 2010

Do you see a Brain on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling?

So this is kinda eerie, in an interesting and "wow" sort of way.  Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder puts a photo of a brain next to Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam" - the God side.  It is really a convincing argument that the two are quite similar! 

I've reversed the colors for the Michelangelo side only for a more dramatic effect - this really does almost pass for a cat scan image of the brain, but it's not!

So yeah.  If he meant for God to appear to be coming from the brain, what might he have been trying to say?  I suppose the obvious is that "God is in us".  Or more precicely, our mind is of God.  Maybe Michelangelo was thinking this was the cause of the 'creation of Adam', or perhaps the effect.

Either way, the idea most certainly is food for thought.  I have never really studied this piece before to the extent that I even noticed the cherubs surrounding God.  Since they make up the "matter" in the supposed brain theory, that could mean something even deeper - that our thoughts are carefully guarded, perhaps.  Angels surrounding us as they are God, who is within! 

Having read the Davinci Code with some interest, and halfway wanting to believe some of the correlations in the story, I am inclined to want to believe that perhaps Michelangelo is trying to portray a message here.  Now, do tell, has this not ever been noticed before?  I find that rather hard to believe.  It seems so obvious, now that it is mentioned.  Have we been "blinded".... and now, only now, we are enlightened enough to see the brain in the piece?

How are we blinded in other ways?  How many other things do we take for granted and see the same way every day.  I challenge you to take a step back, from a different perspective.  Look at things a little differently today, and see what that conjures up for you!

Brain Power: Unleash your Inner Genius!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Teasas Tips said...

Interesting, I never thought of Michelangelo's painting in this perspective before. But yes, I believe God is in our minds and hearts, at least that's where he wants to be.

Andy Dolph said...

In my experience, we humans are creatures of pattern recognition, and we recognize patterns even when there are none. I have no idea if Michelangelo intended this to be a brain, or not. But I tend to think that what we see in art says more about our own worldview and programing then the artists - not that that makes it any less interesting or important.