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

Ancestors of Christ: figures (detail)

1510
Fresco
Cappella Sistina, Vatican

The figures are in the triangular spandrel in the fourth bay between the Erythraean Sibyl and Ezekiel. This spandrel is over the Uzziah-Jotham-Ahaz lunette.

Together with the child leaning toward her breast, the woman kneeling in the foreground forms a pyramidal group with the axis slightly to the right of that of the triangle constituted by the spandrel. The space on the left is occupied a little further back by another seated figure who also clasps a child, while on the right there is a foreshortened representation of a large sack. The colours of the clothes, especially the woman's pale pink mantle with iridescent green and yellow shadows, stand out against the gloomy, nocturnal background.

The figures are identified as Uzziah, the future king of Juda, his mother, his father Jotham, and one of his brothers.




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