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

Description of the picture:

Prophet Joel – Michelangelo Buonarroti. 1508-1512. Fresco.
The Old Testament biblical prophet Joel refers to the so-called “small” prophets. ” His book, written approximately in the 9th century BC, describes relatively prosperous times in the life of the kingdom of Judea, with the exception of the attack of the Philistines, which, in fact, made it possible to date the years of his life. This is a very expressive image of a wise middle-aged man, preoccupied with the morality and religiosity of his people. Bright, but not vulgar colors and amazingly lively “modeling” of the face make the prophet from the “Old Testament” a real and close person.

It is located facing the audience, holds in its hands a long detailed scroll and studies it. One of the hands of the prophet rests on a large wooden music stand in the form of a box with one inclined side for writing or reading. Behind the prophet’s back are two angels – the putti are having some kind of conversation, holding large books in their hands.

On Joel, the robes are rich in color and finish without small, insignificant details. The lower part of the clothes is long, on the floor, in a shirt, with long sleeves, of a beautiful soft lilac color. On the collar it is originally trimmed with a rather wide edging of pale green color with a large spectacular fastener on the chest.

A cloak of saturated, but not aggressive apricot color, made of obviously shiny silky material, will be thrown over the shoulders and knees of the prophet. The master was able to perfectly convey the texture of the fabric, its overflows and spectacular large folds of clothing.
The prophet Joel is considered the first to write down his visions and revelations. His appeals are primarily focused on the desire to lead all citizens of the country to true, not ostentatious service to God. Michelangelo’s fresco depicts Joel as a gray-haired, balding old man, sitting on the steps of a marble throne with gilt balusters on the sides.