What Complications Did Michelangelo Face While Painting The Sistine Chapel?

Updated: June 09, 2023
Michelangelo was famously unhappy with his work on the Sistine Chapel, and is said to have even contemplated suicide at one point. He was constantly under pressure from Pope Julius II to hurry up, and is said to have even painted while lying on his back on scaffolding.
Detailed answer:

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most famous buildings in the world. The ceiling is one of the most famous works of art in history. But when Michelangelo was commissioned to paint it, he had a lot to worry about.

First, he was painting on a ceiling instead of on a flat wall, which made it harder to paint figures that looked natural and lifelike. Second, he was working from a scaffold instead of being able to stand up or sit down while painting. Third, he was not allowed to use models for his work because he was doing a religious subject—he had to rely on his memory and imagination for every figure he painted. Fourth, Michelangelo wasn’t satisfied with his work and often destroyed his own paintings! Fifth, Michelangelo’s contemporaries criticized him constantly for what they saw as “too much nudity” in his paintings! Sixth, Michelangelo suffered from ill health throughout much of his life and even suffered from depression at times! Seventh, Michelangelo was accused by the Church of heresy after painting some nude figures that were considered too realistic for religious art (and possibly too erotic). Eighth, Michelangelo was excommunicated from the Church for two years after this incident—but luckily the pope forgave him before he died!

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What Complications Did Michelangelo Face While Painting The Sistine Chapel?. (2023, May 12). Retrieved from