“The Prophet Ezekiel”, Michelangelo Buonarroti – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Prophet Ezekiel – Michelangelo Buonarroti. 1508-1512. Fresco.
The Sistine Chapel (chapel) of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is the pinnacle of Michelangelo’s work as a master of monumental painting. The painting of the ceiling of his brush still delights the viewer and wonders how he could cope with such a gigantic amount of very complex physical work.

The old man sits on the steps of light marble, right in front of the viewer, but with his face turned in profile. His whole posture gives the feeling that he is arguing with someone, because the movements of the body, the position of the hands, the expression on his face is very lively and active. The hair of an elderly man is covered with a light cloth, he has a beautiful, magnificent white beard, neat and well-groomed. In one of his hands he holds a half-expanded scroll.

Ezekiel is an Old Testament prophet, author of one of the books of the Old Testament of the Bible, named after him. According to legend, four fantastic creatures appeared to Ezekiel, the essence of which is interpreted differently by traditional Judaism and Christianity. The Talmud generally prohibits the interpretation of vision, and in Christianity it is explained by the prophecy about the appearance of Jesus Christ and the four evangelists. The image of the prophet Ezekiel is made in the same style as the other similar elements of the ceiling.

Behind the elder, two putti were placed, the traditional little angel in the form of children, characteristic of Italian painting of this period. Ezekiel himself is dressed very expressively. His outfit is simple in cut, but very rich in color combinations.

His main clothes have long sleeves and are painted in a rich orange hue. Two pieces of fabric of different colors are thrown overhead – on the shoulders of the prophet there is a spectacular drapery of a light purple hue, and a lilac cloak falls from one shoulder through the arm directly to the floor. The fabrics are richly draped, and the folds beat the shape of the body and emphasize its bulk.