Sistine Chapel Michelangelo Paintings

By: Lauren Mitchell Ruehring

Prophet Isaiah Within the Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Prophet Isaiah by Michelangelo can be seen on the Sistine Chapel ceiling 43 feet 5 inches)
Prophet Isaiah by Michelangelo can be seen onthe Sistine Chapel ceiling43 feet 5 inches)

This detail from the Sistine ceiling (1508-12) by Michelangelo is of the Prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah is the Hebrew prophet most frequently cited by Christians for his predictions of the virgin birth of Christ. In the prophet's right hand is a book, and his head is turned away from the Deluge, as if echoing God's promise to him: "For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee."


One of Michelangelo's most finely conceived prophet figures, Isaiah appears to have been startled from a state of intense meditation and study by his attendant putto, who calls attention to the Fall of Man. The prophet parts his soft, rosy lips as if to speak as the unruly locks of his luminous lavender-gray hair create an inspired halo around his head.

Michelangelo based the third and last sibyl included in this article on the study of a male model. Go to the next page to read more about the Libyan Sibyl.

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