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  1. I'm afraid it means exactly that — the creation of man.

    Outside of this, it has almost nothing to mean — Michelangelo, unlike many Renaissance artists, did not look for complexities, intellectual games, ciphers, riddles, double and triple meanings in art. He was a terrible man, absolutely unable to talk to anyone, who only needed marble in his life and that no one should interfere with his work — and in his work he was practically not interested in anything else outside of the form.

    Another thing is-what did the very creation of man mean for its time?

    The man of Florentine humanism is a geometry within clay. Clay can bend, tear, become covered with bubones, fight for trade with Constantinople, can love other clay, can walk on it with your feet. Clay is subject to circumstances, and historically it has not proven itself very well.

    The geometry is beautiful and true. It is beautiful and true even when the clay no longer climbs through any gates.

    This identity of beauty and truth was a direct consequence of how the first humanists were able to reconcile the practical, mundane, muddy aspects of ancient thought with an absolutely Christian doctrine. In this identity, there is no division between ethics and aesthetics, between morality, oratorical abilities, self-education, civic responsibility, reading Plato in the original and saving your immortal soul — all of these are interconnected, and all of them are almost the same.

    This is the meaning of life-constant work on yourself, constant improvement, constant striving for the ideal. The fearlessness and determination that comes from the realization of the divinity of one's own nature, the nature of each person — and compared to which no earthly hardships, no privations, no illnesses, or even the case of the apple-mean almost nothing.

    Because that's not what matters. It is important that there is a chance. And if, say, for Augustine, in the end, the City of Earth is not in our favor, then for the humanists — who, by the way, have caught all the fucking shit in the form of the plague, the papal schism, incessant wars and everything else — nothing earthly detracts from this chance.

    It was this man — ideal, not yet fallen, but still inevitably capable even in his fall — that Michelangelo wrote his creation.

    This may not be what anyone would want to see there-when there is so much room for speculation about the gesture, the obscure figures around God the Father, and the red area itself-but these speculations are misplaced. Accuracy and clarity of utterance were among the many virtues of the Florentine Platonists. They showed it in rhetoric — Michelangelo showed it in marble. There was no need for him to hide anything, since the humanist truth is always in plain sight.

    And a person is separated from it — just a little bit.

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