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Die fünfteilige Schöpfungsgeschichte Michelangelos und Platons Timaios

Otfried Garbe

Published online:

19 Apr 2019



Michelangelo based the design of the architectural frame of the Sistine Chapel ceiling on an underdrawing in a watercolor by Piermatteo d’Amelia, but he chose to subdivide it into nine bays. He then depicted the biblical story of Creation in five, rather than six, pictorial fields and made references to the number five in the fresco. This structure was intended to allude to the five Platonic bodies, which are a further development of the four elements and, according to Plato, explain the creation of the world. In the views of Augustine and of Christian Neoplatonists, there are close similarities between the creation story and the creation process as described in Plato’s Timaeus. They believed that Plato had imitated the story of Genesis. The remaining four panels would then symbolize the history of the human race and the classic four elements.

Other articles in this issue:

Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte Issues

Volume 87 (2024)
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Volume 85 (2022)
Volume 84 (2021)
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Volume 82 (2019)
Volume 81 (2018)
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Volume 79 (2016)

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