David and Judith (3)

As Michelangelo laid the intonaco to begin painting the figure of Judith, he smiled as he thought about what a woman she must have been. Like David against Goliath, Judith had taken up a fight no one else was willing to, and saved the Israelites from annihilation. The Assyrian army had swept across the Samarian [...]

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David and Judith (1)

By early June it had become so hot on the scaffold that Michelangelo began painting in the nude. The sweat rolled down his arms, torso, and legs, soaking the wood planks he stood on. The humidity made his work nearly impossible because the plaster was slower to dry, which made it easier for the paint [...]

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Ominous Trials (2)

The four double spandrels in the corners of the chapel ceiling looked like huge wind-filled sails. They were the largest spaces on the ceiling, each one 32 feet across and 19 feet from top to bottom. To paint their convex surfaces was going to require great skill. Michelangelo had long ago decided what to paint [...]

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