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The Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is often cited as one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time. No visit to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican City to see his 'Pieta' in St. Peter's Basilica, and visit the Sistine Chapel to appreciate the grandeur of its ceiling, and 'The Last Judgment' on its altar wall. If you want to see the statue of 'David', however, you will need to head to Florence.
3 Michelangelo quizzes and 55 Michelangelo trivia questions.
Let the Chips Fall
  Let the Chips Fall editor best quiz   top quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
Michelangelo Buonarotti certainly let the chips fall around him as he sculpted these masterpieces in marble.
Average, 10 Qns, looney_tunes, Jan 09 16
looney_tunes editor
1488 plays
  The Sistine Chapel Ceiling   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
A fairly comprehensive quiz on one of the summit achievements of Renaissance art. NOTE! All questions are about the ceiling only, not the Last Judgement. Good Luck!
Tough, 25 Qns, jouen58, Jul 23 09
1236 plays
  Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 20 Qns
Along with the frescoes on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, this astounding mural represents the summit achievement of Renaissance art. This quiz is about the painting and its history. Enjoy!
Difficult, 20 Qns, jouen58, Sep 10 18
Sep 10 18
643 plays
trivia question Quick Question
What type of boughs do the Ignudi carry on their shoulders?

From Quiz "The Sistine Chapel Ceiling"

Related Topics
  Renaissance Art [Humanities] (17 quizzes)

Michelangelo Trivia Questions

1. How much time had elapsed between the completion of the ceiling and the painting of the "Last Judgement"?

From Quiz
Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: About 24 years

Work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling had ended in 1512; the "Last Judgement" was completed between 1536 and 1541. Almost a quarter century had elapsed since the completion of the Sistine ceiling.

2. What was on the ceiling before Michelangelo began painting?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: A simulation of a starry sky.

Michelangelo painted over this previous fresco by Piero Matteo D'Amelia.

3. Which Pope commissioned the painting of the ceiling?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: Pope Julius II

Michelangelo had been working on Julius' magnificent tomb; unfortunately, the money for that project ran out and the pope pulled him off that project (which was never completed) to do the Sistine Ceiling. Michelangelo, who considered himself a sculptor, not a painter, was reluctant to do the project.

4. The prophets are alternated with five Sibyls. What religion were the Sibyls?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: Pagan

The Sibyls were oracles of pagan gods, usually Apollo. Around the first century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D., writings purportedly by the Sibyls appeared prefiguring the coming of Christ; these are generally acknowledged to have been spurious.

5. What objects are borne aloft by the angels in the lunettes at the top of the mural?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: The instruments of Christ's passion.

The angels to the left struggle to raise the cross, while one holds up the crown of thorns. To the right, other angels struggle with the pillar of the scourging, while another carries the rod. At the very top, one bears the ladder to the cross.

6. What are the Ignudi (there are several of them, in various poses, prominently displayed on the ceiling)?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: Figures of male nudes

The Ignudi, who flank each of the central Genesis panels in groups of two, are generally assumed to be quasi-angelic figures.

7. Apart from Mary, who is the only identifiable female saint? (she holds a piece of a broken wheel)

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: St. Catherine of Alexandria

St. Catherine is in a grouping of martyrs at the center on the right; she holds a piece of the spiked wheel on which, according to legend, her captors tried to torture her, but which fell apart at her touch.

8. How many times is the figure of God depicted on the ceiling?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: Six

He is depicted once in the Separation of Light from Darkness, once in the Separation of the Earth and the Waters, twice in the Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Plants (He is shown on the right pointing at the Sun and on the left, from the rear, retreating from the viewer), once in the Creation of Man, and once in the Creation of Eve.

9. On the lower right, a figure being dragged down by demons holds a hand over one eye while the other stares in terror at the viewer. What surprising fact about this figure emerged during the recent cleaning?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: It is female.

Most people assumed that this figure, one of the most haunting and well-known of the many figures in this mural, was male. However, the recent restoration removed the bit of fabric covering the loins (painted on years after the work's completion) to reveal female genitalia.

10. In the Fall of Man, what type of tree is used to represent the tree of Knowledge of good and evil?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: A Fig Tree

Although the tree of life is traditionally depicted as an apple tree, Michelangelo's is unmistakeably a fig tree.

11. Which best describes the expressions of the dead being raised to life in the lower left of the painting?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: Half-witted

This is not meant in the perjorative sense. The figures of the dead being raised from the grave are among the most memorable in the painting; aroused from their long slumber, their brains not yet fully functioning, their eyes stare with a glazed, half-witted expression.

12. On the lower left, some dark-skinned figures are being pulled upward by an angel using what implements?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: Rosary beads

The rosary was widely (and effectively) used in missionary work in the African continent and in North and South America. This image seems to show two "heathens" being lifted heavenward by the rosary, a literal depiction of a figurative idea.

13. Which figures from pagan mythology appear in this mural?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: Charon and Minos

Michelangelo followed the example of Dante in including these two figures in Hell. Charon is seen at the bottom center, wearing a ferocious expression and beating back some of the damned with his oar from his overcrowded boat. Minos is seen to the extreme bottom right. More on him in the next question.

14. Which figure is a caricature of Michelangelo's chief nemesis, papal nuncio Biagio da Cesena?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: Minos

Da Cesena complained incessantly about the immorality of the nude figures in Michelangelo's frescoes; the artist took his revenge by portraying him as Minos, in hell. Michelangelo depicts Minos as buck-toothed, with ass's ears, a long nose, and naked, except for a serpent coiled around his body which is gnawing at his genitals. Biagio was not amused. He demanded that the pope order the "portrait" to be removed, however the pope famously replied that even he could not deliver anyone from hell.

15. What are depicted in the lunettes (semi-circular spaces around the windows)and the corner spandrels?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: The Ancestors of Christ

The corner spandrels depict some of these ancestors in family groupings.

16. There is considerable damage to a middle section of the painting, depicting angels sounding the last trumpets. What caused this damage?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: A canopy over the altar

A ceremonial canopy used over the altar at one time rubbed against this part of the fresco, causing considerable damage. In one spot, traces of the black preparatory drawing can be seen.

17. What type of boughs do the Ignudi carry on their shoulders?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: Oak

Garlands of oak, plentifully studded with acorns, are borne by the Ignudi as a design detail. Acorns and scallop shells are also used as a border design along the painted moldings of the spandrels.

18. What part of the ceiling was painted first and had to be repainted because the plaster developed mold overnight?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: The Deluge

The plaster was too wet. Eventually, the right "recipe" was developed.

19. What very unusual object can be seen in the water in front of the boat on which the damned are being herded across the river Styx?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: A large wing

There is definitely a large wing, like a swan's wing, on the side of the boat to the right. This was a complete mystery to me until a fellow FT player (PrincessCelli) suggested that it may be one of the wings of Geryon, the winged giant of Greek mythology (whose stables Hercules was employed to clean. She has also suggested tht, if it is Geryon's wing, that the two figures directly above may be Dante and Virgil.

20. What is significant about the figure of the serpent in the Fall of Man?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: It is female.

Although the serpent in the story of the Fall of Man is presumed to be Satan, it is represented by Michelangelo with a woman's head and breasts.

21. Which figure from the Sistine ceiling mural is directly above the "Last Judgement"?

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: Jonah

Jonah, who's three days in the whale's belly is symbolic of Christ's three days in the tomb, is directly above the "Last Judgement" (Zephaniah, who prophecied Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, is directly across from him, appropriately, over the entrance door).

22. Having painted the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, Michelangelo did not wish to do any more painting there, but he was forced to begin work on the "Last Judgement" by order of this pope.

From Quiz Michelangelo's "Last Judgement"

Answer: Paul III

Pope Paul III came into office in 1535 upon the death of Clement VII (who had originally commissioned the "Last Judgement" and demanded that the reluctant Michelangelo, then sixty years old, return to painting in the chapel.

23. When was the ceiling begun and finished?

From Quiz The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Answer: 1508-1512

Work began in July of 1508. The ceiling was unveiled in October 31 1512.

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