Michelangelo’s ‘The Prophet Joel’ is a significant piece of religious painting in High Renaissance style that accurately portrays the figure’s pose, costume elements, and architectural detail. It is one of the seven Old Testament prophets painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Vatican City between 1508-1512.
The fresco uses a voluminous engraving technique with dramatic darks and lights to evoke the three-dimensional forms of sculpture. The figure of Joel is dressed in a soft lavender-gray tunic, contrasting with the exquisite blue band over his shoulder.
Around the center of the ceiling are twelve prophetic figures all representing the coming of Christ. Michelangelo’s Prophets and Sibyls painted in the Sistine Chapel are commanding works that stand out on their own right.
As an Italian sculptor, architect, painter, poet, and engineer during the Renaissance period, Michelangelo’s depiction accurately reproduces Joel’s attire while maintaining consistency among all twelve figures portrayed on the ceiling.