“The Secrets of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam“

Michelangelo Buonarroti
Creation of Adam
1508-1512
fresco, Sistine Chapel ceiling

God portrayed as a brain! Michelangelo, the artistic genius that painted the Sistine Chapel and numerous other masterpieces, spoke to us through the use of details and shapes. The most famous of these is this painting where God creates Adam. If you look closely, you will see that the outline of God’s robe is identical to the shape of the human brain. This is not a coincidence, it was done on purpose. What was Michelangelo saying to us?

Was he saying God only exists in our brains? Or perhaps our brains are the real God? Our perceptions define our reality? Or that God speaks to us through our minds and creativity? I believe the latter. Since the Church employed Michelangelo for most of his life, he had to be careful about how he shared his insights. Here’s a few articles that explore the use of anatomy in this painting:

“The Secrets of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam“
“In 1990, Frank Lynn Meshberger, M.D proposed that the painting may be hiding an anatomical depiction of the human brain, and that the depicted God is superimposed on the emotional side of the brain, the limbic system. Michelangelo Buonarotti was known for believing in the creative power of his mind, attributing his success to this power and developing it continuously over the course of his life. He famously stated that divine guidance came through the intellect, as it was the gift of God.

His painting shows the spark of life is being transferred from God to Adam, as Meshberger theorizes, he is being endowed with the creative power Michelangelo dedicated his life to nurturing. God’s right arm reaches out to Adam through the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that deals with creativity.

Thus, he concluded that the hidden message within genius Michelangelo’s painting is that God is bestowing Adam with the gift of the intellect and that it is by using this great gift that man may reach his highest potential and bring all things his mind develops into creation.”

Neurologists Discover Michelangelo’s Paintings Of God With A Brain
“Suk and Tamargo present very convincing evidence that, though the brain and brain stem are camouflaged, Michelangelo was really attempting to teach – first by alluding to God using his brain to create Adam and then, a year later, to include the brain stem so obviously in the Separation of Light and Darkness. Was Michelangelo suggesting that it is the brain that separates light from darkness?

The Concealed Neuroanatomy in Michelangelo’s Separation of Light From Darkness in the Sistine Chapel,  published in Neurosurgery is fascinating if you are interested in the history of art, the history of science, and/or the history of the Church.”

Meaning of it All
“The Creation of Adam was painted on the Sistine Chapel ceiling for Pope Julius II by the Renaissance master Michelangelo. Instantly recognizable today, God’s outstretched arm reaches toward Adam, about to fill him with life. An extensive restoration effort in the 1980s led to a renewed interest by scholars in deciphering both the meaning of the ceiling as a whole and the individual significance of this moment. In 1990, Frank Meshberger, MD, proposed that Michelangelo (known to have had an interest in anatomy and to have performed human dissections) deliberately painted God’s cloak to resemble a human brain in profile. Dr. Meshberger argued that Michelangelo was intending to convey through this imagery that God was about to give Adam humankind’s most valuable trait: intelligence.”

Here’s also a detailed video on this idea

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