The fourth scene in the chronological order of the narrative, the Creation of Adam, is depicted in the large field of the vault of the sixth bay, between the triangular spandrels.
Michelangelo's organization of the Sistine ceiling frescos represents perhaps the most complex composition in Western art. The space contains an intricate pseudo structure of architecture that frames the sculpture-like forms. Out of the nine narrative scenes depicting events from Genesis, the most sublime scene is this "Creation of Adam," in which his new vision of humanity attains pictural form.
It is scarcely possible to put into words the impressions roused by this marvellous painting; it is as though current passed from the painted scene to the beholder, who often feels that he is assisting at a hallowed world-shaking event. Michelangelo experiences the stages of creation within himself, retracing the way to the divine source by the double path of religion and of art. Now that, inspired by God, he has given form to Eve, elliptical and parabolic shapes begin to multiply; the number of orbits with two focal points increase. These were copied blindly during the following two centuries and became a decorative commonplace.
Precisely here, where man the microcosm and incarnate Word made in the divine image, the Adam Kadmon of Cabalistic doctrine, issues from the hand of God as the fingers of the Father and the son touch in a loving gesture, it is significant and convincing that the Eternal is circumscribed by the ellipse (symbolizing the 'cosmic egg') of his celestial mantle and angelic spirits, while Adam forms only an incomplete oval. Through the extended hands and arms the creative flash passes from one orbit to the other. Love radiates from the face of God and from the face of man. God wills his child to be no less than himself. As if to confirm this, a marvellous being looks out from among the host of spirits that bear the Father on their wings; a genius of love encircled by the left arm of the Creator. This figure has intrigued commentators from the beginning and has been variously interpreted as the uncreated Eve, or Sophia, divine wisdom. Be that as it may, this figure undoubtedly signifies beatific rapture.
Étretat, a Norman fishing village popular among artists of Courbet's generation and, later, the Impressionists. Its great cliffs, rising so precipitously from the beach and from the waters provided a striking contrast to sand-bound or storm-tossed boats below, and with the ever-changing sea and sky.
One of the main features is a rock formation known as Porte d'Aval (or Aiouille), where a natural flying buttress appears to support an equally natural, crenellated tower. This sense of implicit architecture suggests a great city lost in primeval times. There are two other formations called Porte d'Amont, and the Manneporte.
The cliffs at Étretat inspired Monet, who was a frequent visitor to the Normandy coast from the 1860s onward.
St Lucy was a local saint of Syracuse, who had been denounced as a Christian by her former suitor and had died from her tortures in 304. Caravaggio may have worked in haste to produce a picture before the feast of St Lucy on 13 December. His Sicilian biographer states that he owed the commission to his friend Minniti, who may also have helped him paint it.
Originally Lucy's head was severed from her body but later Caravaggio joined it and left just a slit in the front of her neck - perhaps recalling St Cecilia, whose still-intact body, with a gash in the nape of the neck, had been sculpted in 1600 by Maderno. A more local influence was the crypt of the Syracusan church where Lucy had been buried, for cavernous spaces dwarf the human actors.
The heavily-muscled grave-diggers emerge from murky shadows, the mourners are so much smaller that they seem placed some distance away, the officer directing operations beside the bishop is obscured and only the young man above the saint stands out poignantly in his red cloak. Characteristically, light imitates the action of the sun by falling from the right. The scene takes the viewer back to the age of the Church of the catacombs.
The painting was recently restored at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro in Rome (all Caravaggio's Sicilian paintings have come down to us in a poor state of preservation) and transferred from the Basilica di Santa Lucia al Sepolcro to the Bellomo Museum in Syracuse.
The detail represents Vanity, one of the seven deadly sins. A wealthy woman, surrounded by her abundant material possessions, stares into a mirror as she adjusts her headdress. She fails to recognize that a devil, sporting a similar cloth headpiece, holds her mirror.
Elsbeth Tucher (née Pusch) is portrayed against an ornate brocade hanging. At the top of the panel is the inscription, `Elsbeth Niclas Tucher at 26 years 1499'. This is the right wing of a diptych, but the left wing portraying her husband Niclas is missing. Elsbeth holds her wedding ring and the clasp of her blouse is formed with the initials NT, presumably a gift from her husband. The initials WW worked into her blouse and the mysterious letters MHIMNSK on the band over her voluminous headscarf have so far defied interpretation. Just visible on her shoulders is a gold necklace, evidence of her social standing. Above the parapet on the left of the panel is a landscape, with a wood-fringed lake leading to distant mountains, set beneath a stormy sky.
Dürer also painted matching portraits of the brother of Niclas, Hans Tucher and his wife Felicitas (née Rieter). In this diptych, it is the husband who holds a ring and his wife a flower.
The painting was executed for Sigismondo de' Conti in 1511-12. It represents the Madonna in Glory but it is usually called the Madonna of Foligno.
Raphael's pictorial research had been enriched by his solutions regarding the use of light in the Expulsion of Heliodorus and the Liberation of St Peter. These pictorial devices reappear in the Madonna of Foligno, now in the Vatican Museum. The Madonna and Child, borne by a cloud of angels and framed by an orange disk, dominate the group of saints below them, among whom is the donor. This group includes - from left to right - St John the Baptist, St Francis, Sigismondo de' Conti and St Jerome. A small angel at the centre of the composition holds a 'small plaque which was originally intended to carry the dedicatory inscription.
The painting was commissioned to commemorate a miracle in which the donor's house in Foligno was struck by lightning or - according to another version - was struck by a projectile during the siege of Foligno, although it was not damaged. The stormy atmosphere of the landscape background and the flash of lightning (or explosion) which strikes the Chigi Palace (visible at left) illustrate the legend. The strong characterization of the figures, the volumetric fullness of the putti and the refined chiaroscuro distinguish the panel (which was taken as loot by Napoleon's army in 1799 and returned in 1815) as a work of the mature artist.