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Sistine Chapel Michelangelo Paintings


Delphic Sibyl Within the Sistine Chapel Ceiling
This detail, Delphic Sibyl, is one of the Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings (ceiling 130 feet 6 inches x 43 feet 5 inches) by Michelangelo.
This detail, Delphic Sibyl, is one of the Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings (ceiling 130 feet 6 inches x 43 feet 5 inches) by Michelangelo.

Michelangelo's Delphic Sibyl (1508-12) is the most beautiful and youthful of the five sibyls depicted on the Sistine ceiling. The sibyls were female seers from antiquity who were thought to have predicted the coming of Christ, and this sibyl appears startled as she turns her head away from her prophetic scroll and gazes into the future.

The Delphic Sibyl was the voice of Apollo, the greek god of music, poetry, prophecy, and medicine, and it has been suggested that the four colors in her garments represent Earth, Water, Fire, and Air -- the basic elements of life.

One of the main themes of the ceiling is the Creation. On the following pages, find pictures and descriptions of the Creation details, starting with Separation of Light and Darkness.

To learn more about Michelangelo, art history, and other famous artists, see: