(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)
Sacrifice of Noah (with ignudi and medallions)1509
Cappella Sistina, Vatican
The seventh scene in the chronological order of the narrative, the Sacrifice of Noah, is depicted in the centre of the vault of the third bay, between two pairs of ignudi with medallions.
In the central panel, the composition of which is derived from those of classical reliefs, Noah celebrates the sacrifice on an altar seen cornerways on, assisted by other figures. In the chronological sequence of the biblical narration, the Sacrifice ought to follow and not precede the Deluge, but, apart from considerations relating to the typological interpretation of the scene, it is possible that Michelangelo preferred to reserve one of the largest panels in the ceiling for the Deluge.
The ignudi are painted with greater fluency and the modeling is more delicate than those of the first bay. Moreover, their poses are no longer wholly symmetrical. In fact, in the two figures on the left, only the lower part of the body is symmetrical, while the twisting of the bust and the head are expressions of contrapposto. The right arms of both are, however, extended toward the centre in order to hold the ribbon supporting the medallion. On the other hand, the ignudi on the right lean out toward the exterior, and the only difference between them appears to be the position of their arms.
In the medallions, the Destruction of the Statue of the God Baal and the Killing of Uriah are depicted.