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Michelangelo and the Theology of the Book of Esther
Among the many frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, one depicts a scene from the Book of Esther. Michelangelo placed it in the spandrel at the juncture of the south wall and the central wall of the altar of the Last Judgment. The proximity is not only material, but also thematic. It depicts the core of the Book of Esther, the judgment of Haman and his crucifixion.

What stands out about the spandrel – but one could also say about Michelangelo’s genius – is its originality. The fresco is unique in the Sistine Chapel and marks the apex of the painter’s mastery.

One art historian writes: “Never in the entire history of art has a book of Sacred Scripture been summarized so well in a single fresco as in this painting by Michelangelo, which shows figurative art’s irreplaceable capacity for synthesis.”
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2023
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