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The Michelangelo Code

17 Feb

I suspect that most of you, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, will have heard of the Da Vinci Code. Less well known but just as interesting is the theory that Da Vinci’s fellow genius Michelangelo threaded a similar ‘code’ through his artistic works. This code presupposes that Michelangelo’s most famous creation, the Sistine Chapel, is actually the site of the greatest subversive act in art history. This theory hinges on the placement of the prophet Zechariah, who is seemingly in an unimportant position, from the entrance that tourists use to enter the chapel. However, if you enter the place as the Pope does, the first image you would see is Zechariah, and this has caused conspiracy theorists and art critics all over the world to rethink the chapel’s decoration from that vantage point. What was the message Michelangelo might have been trying to send to his employer, the second della Rovere pope, Julius II? What made Zechariah so important?

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