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Lesson ideas

Religious education

The Sistine Chapel ceiling has famous depictions of creation. Compare creation stories in different religions. Read Genesis. How has Michelangelo shown the whole story in a single composition?

Art

Make your own cartoons by pricking holes on the outline of a full-scale drawing and then dusting powder over the holes to leave an outline on the surface beneath.

You can repeat this image several times, creating a pattern or abstract drawing.

Also have a go at drawing directly above your head while standing up.

Imagine doing this for three years!

Take a copy of the image of the sibyl and fill in the rest of the body.

How much help does the drawing offer?

Practise life-drawing techniques, focusing on the drapery of fabric.

Experiment with hatching and cross-hatching to depict drapery.

Explore some of the techniques used by Michelangelo (black chalk and brown wash) and the unusual and varied figurative poses.

Try the artist's technique of scaling-up a drawing to life-size, using a grid.

History

This drawing was made in the time of the Tudors. Look at Holbein's drawings of Henry VIII, influential cartoons which were copied to allow many images of the king to be produced. What do such images tell us about the power structures of the time?

Why would Pope Julius II commission such a grand work? What does it say about the papacy? Examine the work in the religious context of Europe and explore the criticisms that were being made about the papacy at the time.

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