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Michelangelo’s Last Judgement

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  1. Introduction
  2. Determination and unwavering loyalty to patrons
  3. The critics of the paintings
  4. Examples of psychomachia
  5. Michelangelo's Last Judgement
  6. Conclusion
  7. Bibliography

Michelangelo Buonarroti was born on March 6, 1475, to the wife of a podesta in the diocese of Arezzo. As podesta, his father held an executive and judicial office of the Republican city-states. When his term in office ended, Michelangelo's father moved the family to their villa right outside of Florence. Michelangelo spent the better part of his childhood secretly drawing because his father regarded drawing as ?an unworthy undertaking for their ancient house? and he ?was scolded and sometimes beaten by his father and his elders? when he got caught.

[...] The figure of Christ is the personification of the concept of psychomachia in itself. In the mind of mankind, Christ is simultaneously revered and intensely feared. In order for Christ to permit one's ascension into heaven, one must have lived their life a certain way. This means that they must have allowed virtue to triumph over vice and devoutness to triumph over desire in the warfare existing internally within every man's soul and mind. The next concept that can be used to analyze Michelangelo's Last Judgement is Aristotle's notion of catharsis. [...]


[...] He painted Minos ?with a large serpent wrapped around his legs in a heap of devils? Michelangelo's fresco of the Last Judgement, painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel can be analyzed in terms of several art historical philosophical themes or concepts. The first of these is psychomachia. Psychomachia is a struggle between opposites. In the case of the Last Judgement, we find examples of psychomachia in both concept as well as composition. The Last Judgement, as a universal event, is a dramatic moment composed of layers upon layers of battles between opposing forces. [...]

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