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Sistine Chapel Michelangelo Paintings


Separation of Light and Darkness Within the Sistine Chapel Ceiling
This detail from the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Michelangelo's Separation of Light and Darkness (ceiling 130 feet 6 inches x 43 feet 5 inches), is located in the Vatican.
This detail from the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Michelangelo's Separation of Light and Darkness (ceiling 130 feet 6 inches x 43 feet 5 inches), is located in the Vatican.

Michelangelo placed this major scene, Separation of Light and Darkness detail (1508-12), directly over the altar where Mass is celebrated. For the first time the figures are presented as if viewed from below. By linking this scene, the first in time, to the priestly ritual of raising the host at the altar, the artist expressed the fundamental Chris­tian message that God's plan for human salvation existed from the very moment in which God created the universe, separating light from darkness.

Another one of the Creation scenes concerns the Creation of Sun, Moon, and Planets. Go to the next page to learn more about this work.

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