Description of the picture:
Cum Sibyl – Michelangelo Buonarroti. 1508-1512. Fresco.
Kumsky, or Kumchansky Sibyl – the soothsayer, who lived in the temple of Apollo in Cumi, which is located near modern Naples. It was rightfully considered one of the most famous foretellers in ancient Rome. In addition to the Qum Sibyl, the artist depicted Persian, Eritrean, Delphic and Libyan. The use of ancient culture characters helped bring the idea of the continuity of life and God’s blessing in the pre-Christian period. During the work on the painting, Michelangelo carefully studied the mechanics of the body.
Legends say that among her many predictions, the most famous was the prophecy about Christ and his sufferings in the name of mankind. The glory of the Cum Sibyl prompted many artists, including such recognized brush masters as Titian, Rafael Santi and Michelangelo Buanarroti, to use her colorful image in many paintings and frescoes. Especially vividly painted the image of the Cum Sibyl in the work of Michelangelo Buonarroti. The image of the soothsayer is part of the ceiling painting of the Sistine Chapel, on which, in addition to her, the artist placed images of four more well-known predictors.
The image of the Kumskoy Sibyl shows a special interest of the artist in small details, muscle work, anatomy of arms and legs.
The soothsayer is depicted by the great master, as an old woman of great growth with a fearsome face. Her overweight figure, sitting on a marble throne with an ancient folio in her hands, personifies the whole burden of earthly knowledge. Tired of life, the Sibyl bitterly peers into the yellowed pages, trying to make out between the lines the answer to eternal questions. Michelangelo’s contemporary, Giorgio Vasari, saw in the image of the Sibyl on the one hand, charm and inconspicuous at first glance beauty, and on the other hand, the grandeur and inevitability of destiny.