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Michelangelo’s Last Judgment: Controversy and Devotion in the Pope’s Chapel

November 20, 2023 @ 12:30 pm


Michelangelo unveiled the ‘Last Judgment’ in 1541. Painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, the towering fresco is an awesome achievement containing hundreds of figures confronting the Day of Judgment. It is also one of Michelangelo’s last major public works. Despite being created by one of the most famous artists in the world at the time, the reviews of the fresco were decidedly mixed. Some commentators felt that it was the most sublime work of art ever created, others thought it was fit only for a brothel. Even modern-day scholars point to the fresco as a pivotal moment in the history of Renaissance art. Together, we will consider the commission, context, creation, iconography, and aftermath of the painting in order to better understand what all the fuss is about. This event is also available virtualy.