The Creation of Adam is a fresco painting by Italian artist Michelangelo, which forms part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling.
It illustrates the Biblical creation narrative from the Book of Genesis in which God gives life to Adam. The fresco is part of a complex iconographic scheme and is chronologically the fourth in the series of panels depicting episodes from Genesis.
The image of the near-touching hands of God and Adam has become iconic of humanity. Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam is one of the most replicated religious paintings of all time.
During the same period, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Which took approximately four years to complete (1508–1512).”The Hand of God” is perhaps the most enduring of Michelangelo’s paintings. Almost five centuries later this image remains prevalent and is still being used in advertising and on posters and T-shirts.This is particularly true of the detail that shows the two hands as they reach towards each other, tantalizingly close, almost touching.The panel illustrates the moment when life is instilled in Adam by God. Michelangelo has placed the central focus upon the hands of God and of Adam, not just by the placement of the figures, but also by the two outstretched arms. The hand is limp, the fingers are drooping as if they are without energy, awaiting the vital spark of life.
One of the questions that has been raised about this scene is the identity of the figures next to God. Given her privileged placement under the arm of God, the female figure is presumably an important one.