(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)


Fresco, 395 x 380 cm
Cappella Sistina, Vatican

If Ezekiel saw the beginning and the origin of creation, the first emanation of the Godhead, the youthful Titan Daniel knows of ultimate things and of the Judgment which Michelangelo was to paint much later above the altar of the Sistine Chapel. Assisted by his genius half hidden in his lilac mantle, the man who lived unharmed in a lion's den silently sets down in the Book of Life what he has seen. The seer's hand with the foreshortened arm expresses quiet dedication to his task. And it should be said here that Michelangelo's vaunted foreshortening perspectives were never feats of artistic bravado, as was the case with his countless imitators, but always met a psychological necessity or expressed some truth; they are therefore aesthetically satisfying, never grotesque as so often in Baroque art.