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

The Persian Sibyl

1511
Fresco, 400 x 380 cm
Cappella Sistina, Vatican

Primordial, totally detached, her eyes focused on things outside this world, and she herself almost a cave of mystery - such is the Persica of the Sistine Chapel. Something of Leonardo's chiaroscuro has crept into her composition. She is a presence still more powerful and secretive, magical and abstracted than the Cumaean Sibyl.