(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)
The Brazen Serpent (detail)1511
Cappella Sistina, Vatican
The cruel punishment of the Israelites for having spoken against God and Moses occupies a large part of the pendentive, with bodies intertwined in an indescribable tangle. This presented the artist with an opportunity for virtuosic foreshortening and twisting of the bodies, and also depicting contorted, screaming faces.