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Fine Art/the Cistine Chapel


Hi Alison,

Did Michelangelo paint the Cistine Chapel or, as I have heard, did he first do all the drawing and then had students do the majority of the painting until he went round to finish everything as only he could?

Thanks very much,

Usually with frescoes an artist does have apprentices working with him to help block in the larger colors, and at that time the atelier system or apprentice system was the way one got an education, so in all probability, yes.

You can see the sytem in practice by looking over photos of Diego Rivera doing his frescoes -- he had "helpers," but they were more than mere teen-aged students: they were artists in their own right who enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside him; frescoes are indeed a group effort.

Thank you for asking.

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Alison McMahon Johnson


Art history, materials and techniques of drawing and painting, drawing, painting, lighting


Past/Present clients
Paintings hanging in Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan; cultural centers in LA and NY; in private collections around the world.

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