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The mystery in the Sistine chapel is behind the finger of God

When, in 1512, Michelangelo finally completed the ceiling fresco of the Sistine chapel, which is considered one of the most famous works in the history of art, the cardinals responsible for curating the works stayed for hours looking at and admiring the magnificent fresco. After the analysis, they met with the master of the arts, Michelangelo and, without any shame, fired: RE-FA-ÇÇA!


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The discontent, obviously, was not with the whole work, but with a detail, apparently unimportant. Michelangelo had designed the panel of the creation of man with the fingers of God and Adam, touching each other. The healers demanded that there was no touch, but that the fingers of both were kept apart and more: that the finger of God was always stretched to the maximum, but that the finger of Adam, had the last phalanx contracted. A simple detail but with a surprising meaning: God is there, but the decision to seek him is up to man. If he wants to, stretch out his finger, he will touch him, but not wanting to, he can spend a lifetime without looking for him. The last phalanx of the contracted Adam’s finger then represents free will.

Source: Rupnik, Marko Ivan, Art as an Expression of Liturgical Life, Brasília, CNBB Editions, 2019. p145