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The Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo (1508–1512) at the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, Rome, Italy

Generally thought to depict the excerpt “God created man in His own image, etc., that of Michelangelo is perhaps the best known fresco painting of all time. Despite its importance as a single representation, The Creation of Adam is just a part of the great Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, painted c. 1508–1512. God is depicted as an elderly white-bearded man wrapped in a swirling cloak while Adam, on the lower left, is completely nude. God’s right arm is outstretched to impart the spark of life from his own finger into that of Adam, whose left arm is extended in a pose mirroring God’s. Many hypotheses have been formulated regarding the identity and meaning of the twelve figures around God. The person protected by God’s left arm might be Eve due to the figure’s feminine appearance and gaze towards Adam, but was also suggested to be Virgin Mary, Sophia goddess of wisdom, the personified human soul, or an angel of feminine build.

Michelangelo’s main source of inspiration for his Adam may have been a cameo showing a nude Augustus Caesar riding sidesaddle on a Capricorn. The cameo used to belong to cardinal Domenico Grimani who lived in Rome while Michelangelo painted the ceiling. It is now at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.

Over time, the image of the near-touching hands of God and Adam has become iconic of humanity and, as expected for such a painting, has been reproduced in countless imitations and parodies.

Be Born Again – Dr. Kim’s Plastic Surgeon
Clip Creation – Adam Hillman
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – Steven Spielberg
The Creation of Adam near Brick Lane (London)
The Creation – Jeff Hamada
The Creation of Adam (in Tuscany) – Andy Groves
Watching The Creation of Adam – Escha van den Bogerd
The Creation of Adam on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (preliminary version) by Peter Paul Rubens
If God Was a Woman – Meg Stuart
The Creation of Adam – Sofi Alvarez
The Creation of Adam (Getty Museum Challenge) – Greta, Gizmo & Tessa
Creation – Jon Amiel
Ape and Creation of Adam – Jose Antonio Penas
Road Rage – Ben The Rules
The Creation of Adam (No Gathering version)
The Fast and the FuriousHayati Evren
The Cleaning of AdamShusaku Takaoka
The Coronation of AdamMehmet Geren
The Creation of the new Joker – Miguel Angel
The Creation – Harmonia Rosales
The Creation of Pennywise – Rabittooth
The Creation of Mario – Eric Proctor
The Creation of Homer – Bill Mudron
The Creation of Playmobil
The Creation of Adam – Tyler Feder
Healthy Creation – Michael Kountouris
Italy Takes No Chances – Peter Brookes

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