The Creation of Adam hands

Michelangelo the Creation of Adam: All about Sistine Chapel Painting

3.2/5 - (36 votes)

If this Creation of Adam painting looks familiar, it is probably because you have seen it before. If you have been lucky enough to visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in person, you will have seen the masterpiece for yourself.

But even if you have never had the good fortune to visit the Eternal City, you’re surely familiar with it too. It is one of the world’s most famous works of art.

About Creation of Adam painting

Michelangelo Creation Adam all about

Depicting the “birth” of Adam, the painting is part of a series of scenes from Genesis that can be found in the chapel. It is most famous for being the painting where the fingers touch – those of God and Adam.

The Michelangelo the Creation of Adam Paintings – History Details

Created between 1508 and 1512, rumour has it that Bramante engineered the job for Michelangelo, hoping he would fail. Instead, Michelangelo took the challenge. He got Pope Julius to agree to letting him paint the masterpiece.

During the planning phase for the scenes for the God and Adam painting, Michelangelo made some sketches. These can be seen in the British Museum in London. It is thought that he modelled the drawing on the Belvedere Torso.

Representation of the painting – Details

The sketches and final painting are a representation of Genesis 1, verse 26. This Old Testament verse reads “Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness”.

This is conveyed on the ceiling by the pose of both God and Adam, who are mirroring each other.

Figures Analysis

  • God is portrayed as an older man, surrounded by other figures. The woman under God’s arm is generally believed to be Eve, others have claimed it is Mary mother of Jesus. Here, God is the giver of life and Adam is reaching to receive it
  • Adam, whilst God is fully clothed, is naked. He is lower down than God and their fingers are not touching. He is waiting to receive the gift of life from God.
  • The other figures in the painting are thought to represent the offspring of Adam. The woman under God’s arm may be Eve. However, as the Catholic Church does not teach about the pre existence of the soul.

The Creation of Adam – Analysis & Deeper meaning

The Creation of Adam painting

Some interesting theories about the painting surround the fact that Michelangelo knew quite a bit about the human body.

  • The figures surrounding God are said to be remarkably set out like the critical parts of the brain.
  • The structure in which God and the others are floating has been said to represent the uterus, and the cloth hanging don the umbilical cord
  • The Creation of Adam hands of God and Adam do not touch. The interaction symbolises the gap between God and man. It is not the same as two men shaking hands for example.
  • The creation of Adam and Eve is alluded to here, some even saying that Michelangelo even painted a secret extra rib into Adam’s side.

3 Intriguing Michelangelo The Creation of Adam facts tourists often miss

  • the Creation of Adam is part of a masterpiece that contains over 300 other figures, stretching over 500 metres squared
  • This is the second most copied painting in the world, after the Last Supper by Da Vinci
  • Amazingly, the scaffolding that covered the ceiling meant that Michelangelo had no clue what the masterpiece actually looked like for the 4 years it took to paint it!

More about the artist Michelangelo

Michelangelo Statue of David
  • Born in what was then the Republic of Florence in 1475, Michelangelo runs off against Da Vinci as one of the greatest artists ever.
  • His mother died when he was young, and he spent his childhood in the care of a nanny and her stone cutter husband.
  • Florence turned out to be a great place for a budding artist to practice in. His early works were sculptures including the Madonna of the Steps.
  • He worked on and off for the Medici, sculpting from marble.
  • He created the Pieta on the request of a french ambassador to the cardinal at the age of just 24. This masterpiece can be found in St Peter’s Basilica.
  • He finished the Statue of David before working on the Sistine Chapel between 1505 and 1512.
  • His last major project was the completion of the design of St Peter’s Basilica.
  • He died aged 88 in 1564.

Get your Sistine Chapel Tickets

Sistine Chapel Painting figures

Plan your visit to the Sistine Chapel here. Our comprehensive guide will tell you all you need to know about how to get tickets, when to visit and how to maximise your time.

This is the ultimate guide to the Sistine Chapel and all you need to get planning.

Here are your options:

Where is the Creation of Adam located

You will not miss this stunning creation when you visit the Sistine Chapel as part of a Vatican Museums tour. To get there, take the Metro to San Pietro. From there, it’s about a 10 minute walk to the Vatican.

Frequently Asked Questions

banner faq

Here we have gathered the top questions we get about this beautiful painting to help you out!

Who painted The Creation of Adam?


When Was The Creation of Adam painting finished?

The total ceiling works took 4 years and were completed in 1512. The exact painting of this one section took 3 weeks.

How was The Creation of Adam made?

It’s a painting, a fresco, directly painted onto the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Why did Michelangelo paint The Creation of Adam?

Pope Julius commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling.

Why is The Creation of Adam important?

It is one of the most important references to the story of the Creation, which is an important part of the Catholic faith.

How long did The Creation of Adam take to paint?

3 weeks for the painting, 4 years for the entire works.

How old is The Creation of Adam?

Completed in 512, it is over 1500 years old.

Is the Creation of Adam the picture of god touching man painting?

Yes, although note they are not actually touching, this is an important part of the painting.

How to draw the Creation of Adam?

Get yourself a painting guide book or better still some lessons. Some tutorials on Youtube can help as well.

Where to buy a poster of Creation of Adam painting?

You can buy these online for just $10! Head to amazon or ebay and simply search for Creation of Adam posters.


Now you have the full guide to the Sistine Chapel creation of Adam, you can impress your travel companions! Get to planning the rest of your trip here today! We have a whole range of tips and tricks.

From the best hotels near Vatican in Rome, to where to eat we’ve got it covered. Make sure you check out our complete guide to the Vatican Museum before heading over to our Colosseum section.

About Writer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.