Artplay, Michelangelo: the Creation

On the 5th of September, a new exhibition dedicated to the works of Michelangelo opened at Artplay design centre. The centre is located not far from Vinzavod, metro station Kurskaya. Artplay has a very big territory on which can be found design and architecture shops, bookshops, offices of small design companies, a design school and exhibition rooms. It is a very lively place where the creative youth of Moscow like to come .

The design centre is particularly famous for its one of a kind multimedia exhibitions. Before the one on Michelangelo, there had already been one dedicated to Van Gogh and another to the French impressionists, which is still running until the end of September.

I very much enjoyed the exhibition as it really allows the spectator to penetrate into the work of the genius, Michelangelo. The exhibition focuses on the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, especially the ceiling and the fresco “The Last Judgement”. The first part of the exhibition is relatively classic. It describes Michelangelo’s early life, the work he accomplished in the Vatican, his sculptures, the techniques he used. This first part allows you to better understand the frescoes and also to better appreciate the enormity of the work he did. It was explained that to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he worked four years at 20 metres high, never giving any task to students. He only participated in the execution of this legendary masterpiece.

The second part of the exhibition is really the one that allows the spectator to immerse himself in Michelangelo’s work and appreciate its beauty, its technical wonder. The visitors enter an enormous room. All is dark, screens surround the visitor, religious choral songs echo in your ears from Handel to Bach and Mozart. The visitor sits down on bean bags and abandons himself to a whole new world. The film that is projected shows different characters painted in the chapel in a logical order, showing how Michelangelo very precisely followed the Bible (apparition of light, separation from water, Adam and Eve…). Each character on these black screens reveal how three dimensional Michelangelo made it. The perspective, the shadows, the colours: all tools were used to make the painting become a three-dimensional object. Michelangelo was in the first place a sculptor and his paintings reflect this: his paintings seem nearly as three dimensional as his statues. In this multimedia room, the film lasts about 20-25minutes. The magic of the exhibition is that, and the images, and the music transport the spectator in a whole new world at the time when Michelangelo painted the actual chapel.

The ticket cost 350 roubles (student ticket). I would really recommend it to everyone, even to those who art not particularly art fans, as the exhibition is just so captivating, so straightforward and simple, accessible to all.

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