In the centre, the expanse of the wide nave, illuminated by the reflections of light in the vault, is a more effective space-determining motif than the large patches of blue sky which appeared through the coffered ceiling in the School of Athens.
Renoir and Bazille met in November 1862 in the studio of Charles Gleyre, where they attended drawing classes along with Monet and Sisley. The four pupils quickly became friends and left Gleyre in the spring of 1863 in order to devote themselves entirely to open-air painting. The next summer Bazille moved into a studio in Paris and shared it with Renoir. Toward the end of 1867, Bazille painted his friend in a nonchalant attitude with his feet up on the seat of his chair. The painting remained in Renoir's possession for the rest of his life.
Renoir reciprocated by painting a picture of his friend in their studio. Bazille is at his easel, leaning forward slightly with his legs crossed, working on a still-life of dead birds. On the wall behind him is a winter landscape by Claude Monet with a view of Honfleur. The predominant colours in the picture are gray and beige.
Despite their differences, one factor is common in these paintings: they depict what appears to be a random moment in everyday life and avoid any semblance of a posed composition.
God allows the youthful Jonah, the seer of Nineveh whom he rescued from the belly of the whale within three days - the time between Christ's death and his resurrection, - to challenge him in his bold nakedness, The figure mocks every law of composition and perspective. Michelangelo conceived Jonah as an Old Testament Prometheus touched by grace and presents us with a solution to the riddle of good and evil. An artist, himself a rebellious Titan, proffers a solution that spells deliverance in what may be the grandest piece of dialectical theology ever stated in terms of art. The rebellious Prophet, whom God would not have otherwise, looks up directly at his self begetting and affirming Maker. In his expression, scorn and rebellion are giving place to joy, delight, love and filial response, and the ecstatic contemplation of God. The monster of the sea, the calabash tree of the texts, and the turbulent genii form an animated background, unusually bucolic and idyllic for Michelangelo.