Michelangelo's Mirrors

Luke Reinsma

No longer is it a revelation, as it was three-quarters of a century ago, that St. Bartholomew in Michelangelo's Last Judgment clutches in his hand the portrait of his own creator. What is less well known, however, is that the saint himself was cobbled together from out of that which Michelangelo loved and hated. More importantly, this self-portrait is no isolated event, no hidden signature tucked in among the hundreds of figures swirling about Christ. It is, rather, one of a number of self-portraits of the artist that link him with the risen and the damned, with the Pieta of his youth and those of his old age all of these, haunting mirrors of the artist's very soul. Luke Reinsma is Professor of English at Seattle Pacific University.

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Last Updated: March 30, 2002
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