Persian Sibyl - Michelangelo Buonarroti. 40x14 m.
Sibyls in the era of antiquity called soothsayers. Their figures were always shrouded in tragic mystery, mainly because the predictions of the sybil were most often associated with some impending disaster.
The heroine of the work of the Divine Michelangelo lived in Persia in the 13th century BC. It is believed that this youthful-looking seer predicted the acts of Alexander the Great, as well as the appearance of Jesus Christ. She left her notes in 24 books of prophecy. Predictions are written in verses with ambiguous semantic content. Like quatrains of Nostradamus, the records of the Sibyl can be read this way and that.
The Babylonian Sibyl was named after Samfeb and in her youth she was dressed in gold robes. In the presented work, we see that Samfeba is already quite old. She is wearing a beautiful, bright dress and cape. Michelangelo, with his inherent skill, delightfully conveys their sophisticated drapery. Oriental sibyl almost turned her back on the viewer - the artist does not allow us to see her face. The heroine brings the opened book close to her eyes, which again indicates her esteemed age - she no longer sees so well. Perhaps she is looking for something, or maybe reading some of her prophecies.
Behind her, hands clasped at the chest, a man listens attentively, another Syvil guest peers out behind him. Michelangelo leaves us no clue what kind of prediction this is, happy or bad, but in the image of the figure the great master of the Renaissance gives exact characteristics to his heroine: elderly, but still clear in mind, with a bent back, but energetic and active.
To portray the Sibyl, the artist uses soft tones - a delicate, pink color of the cape, a light green dress, a snow-white, luminous shirt and a scarf that is also tied up on his head.
The mean means of emotional expressiveness, characteristic of the Renaissance, was great enough by Michelangelo to create a heroine in whom one feels inner strength, an unbending spirit, sacred wisdom. The author didn’t even have to show faces in order to familiarize the viewer with the Persian Sibyl so close.
In the Sistine Chapel, the visitor will be able to find four more ancient fortune-tellers whose names have been preserved by history: in addition to the Persian heroine, Michelangelo depicted Libyan, Delphic, Eritrean and Kumsky sibyls on the frescoes.