Persian Sibyl by Michelangelo Buonarroti – Description

She is wearing a beautiful, bright dress and cape. Michelangelo, with his inherent skill, delightfully conveys their sophisticated drapery. Eastern sibyl almost turned away from the viewer – the artist does not allow us to see her face. The heroine brings the opened book close to her eyes, which again indicates her respected age – she no longer sees so well.
Their figures have always been shrouded in tragic mystery, mainly because the predictions of the Sibyls were most often associated with some impending disaster.

The heroine of the work of the Divine Michelangelo lived in Persia in the 13th century BC. It is believed that this youthful-looking seer predicted the acts of Alexander the Great, as well as the appearance of Jesus Christ. She left her notes in twenty-four books of prophecy. Predictions are written in verses with ambiguous semantic content. Like quatrains of Nostradamus, the records of the Sibyl can be read this way and that.

The Babylonian Sibyl bore the name of Samfeb and in youth clothed in gold robes. In the presented work, we see that Samfeba is already quite old.

Description of the picture:

Persian Sibyl – Michelangelo Buonarroti. Fresco. 1508-1512. Gold, plaster. 40×14 m. Sibyls in the era of antiquity called soothsayers. Perhaps she is looking for something, or maybe reading some of her prophecies.

Behind her, hands clasped at the chest, some man listens attentively, another Sybil guest peers out behind him. Michelangelo does not leave us any clue as to whether this prediction is happy or bad, but in the image of the figure the great master of the Renaissance gives exact characteristics to his heroine: elderly, but still clear in mind, with a bent back, but energetic and active.

To portray the Sibyl, the artist uses soft tones – a delicate, pink color of the cape, a light green dress, a snow-white, luminous shirt and a scarf that is also tied up on his head.

The mean means of emotional expressiveness, characteristic of the Renaissance, was great enough by Michelangelo to create a heroine in whom one feels inner strength, an unbending spirit, sacred wisdom. The author didn’t even have to show faces to introduce the Persian sybil so close.

In the Sistine Chapel, the visitor will be able to find four more ancient fortune-tellers whose names have been preserved by history: in addition to the Persian heroine, Michelangelo depicted Libyan, Delphic, Eritrean and Qumi sibyls on the frescoes.