Michelangelo is recognized as one of the greatest Italian Renaissance painter and sculptor. What we don’t know much about him is that he was extremely passionate about anatomy and that, at one point, he persuaded a hospital to let him study the corpses. But he destroyed almost all the notes and anatomical drawings.
A couple of American neuroanatomic experts believe that Michelangelo left some anatomical illustrations behind one of his best known works, the Sistine Chapel.
The artist painted his masterpiece between 1508 and 1512 in Rome and since then has been admired by millions of tourists.
Ian Suk and Rafel Tamargo think the last scene of the Chapel ceiling, in which God separates light from dark with his hands very precisely depicts the spinal cord and brainstem.
They observed that God’s neck and chest shows anatomical irregularities, not present in other paintings of the Chapel, and are differently enlightened, on purpose.
Experts overlapped the neck from the painting over a photograph of the human brain. Surprise: the two images matched perfectly! They have added a piece of God’s clothing that fits well with the spinal cord.
The two experts say that Michelangelo created this info as a secret message of the painting, but could not say what it means.
Dr. R. Douglas Fields from the University of Maryland, said that it could be several interpretations.
“Maybe the paintings from the Sistine Chapel doesn’t show that God gives Adam’s intelligence but that intelligence, observation and body that makes them possible, are directly from God and not mediated by the church,” said Fields. Michelangelo hated opulence and corruption of the Catholic Church.
The doctor says that the painting could be a Rorshach test, ie: an image that says more about the viewer and not the author, so it’s no wonder that experts in anatomy saw anatomical drawings in Michelangelo’s paintings.
Image source: dailymail.co.uk