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

Rehoboam - Abijah

Fresco, 215 x 430 cm
Cappella Sistina, Vatican

"Solomon begat Rehoboam. Rehoboam begat Abijah. Abijah begat Asa." (Matthew 1:7)

Astonishing naturalness and a large variety of poses characterize the figures in the last lunettes, which are known to have been painted with great rapidity.

On the left a woman is depicted in profile; she sits alone, gazing out into the chapel, leaning backward with her elbow on the back of the seat. This is a detail that is only found here, and it may be compared to the low step on which, on the other side of the lunette, the sleeping young man rests a foot. The woman's right arm and hand are stretched out on her leg, while her left hand points to the unborn child she is carrying in her womb.

The young man at right is seated bent forward in an attitude of complete abandon. His head, with his face turned toward the wall, is resting on the hand placed on his right knee; his other arm hangs down at his side. Behind him, a young boy seems to be trying to make him sit upright by grabbing his shoulder. The juxtapositions of bright colours in the woman's clothes - a green scarf over her head and shoulders, a violet-rose pinafore, a reddish-orange mantle with yellow ocher lining - are matched by equally rich, but more delicate, tones in those of the young man.