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

Last Judgment (detail)

1537-41
Fresco
Cappella Sistina, Vatican

The detail shows the blessed saints and martyrs surrounding Christ the Judge in the right part of the fresco. The main figure of this group is St Peter, who is offering the two huge key to christ, emblems of the power to bind and to release men from sin that had been delegated to the Popes.

Below is the figure of St Bartholomew, with the skin that was stripped from him when he was martyred. This skin is clearly recognisable as a dramatic self-portrait of the artist - another sign of Michelangelo's terror of the 'flesh' and of the 'sin', but also of his thirst for spiritual renewal and salvation.




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