Mankind’s Oldest Technology

Unveiled today – and at last people are looking up from their iphones and their feet, and enjoying something that surprises them.  You don’t get this from television or iphones – only from the human hand and eye: mankind’s oldest technology is still the best.

You can see this thing at a great distance from North and East, and as I left the site, people were gathered around taking photos and enjoying the view.  This is what art is all about, and this is where it belongs, in the public eye.  A very Happy New Year to all!



About iain carstairs

I have a great interest in both scientific advances and the beauty of religion, and created about 15 years ago with the aim of finding common ground between the scientist and the believer, and to encourage debate between the two sides.
This entry was posted in Art, Fresco, Fresco, Iain Carstairs, Pigments and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Mankind’s Oldest Technology

  1. Linda says:

    It’s a masterpiece!

  2. Dale Pond says:

    Iain, I always thought you were amazing but now I and the world know you are! A fabulous work.
    Do you do houses? Love and best – Paul

    • Ah, thanks and you’re too kind – I think anyone with a bit of string and a ruler could do it. I thought if I run out of work I will do the side of my house; the lazy man’s commute!

      I think that’s why we have fingerprints – scientists agree they don’t help with sensitivity or traction, so according to them, they have no useful function apart from identity, but you see they do help paint. Ten brushes which can hold any medium in the little grooves – did you know that in the days of cave painting, man walked 25km to get his first pigments, red and yellow ochres and oxides, in France? Can you imagine how important it was for him! And the first thing children do is try to paint with their fingers. In those days they used feathers sometimes to blend the edges, and made straws which they used as airbrushes. They were way ahead!

      In fact some of the multiple superimposed images of animals which were always presumed to be mistakes, in a flickering firelight would have appeared in sequence and seemed to move across the cave wall. It was animation, and home cinema. These people were US in earlier times – what else do we expect?

      Every town should be like walking through a picture book, a story book; it would tell you everything about the people and the town. Each town would try and outdo another with their colours and ingenuity. People would travel not to spend money but to see and be inspired and meet their fellow creators.. How beautiful that would be, and how much better than sitting in a lonely room watching TV! All the best, and happy new year to you

  3. Brock Haussamen says:

    Spectacular results, but it’s the doing of it that is even more spectacular–along with your appreciation of the details… the tools, the emotions, the communities.

  4. Dale Pond says:

    Iain, what is the history behind this painting. Just curious. Dale

    • Hi, well she represents the Greek prophetess who foresaw or foretold the birth of Christ. Michelangelo placed her in such a way that she looked down on a scene in the chapel featuring a story involving Christ. She has a small smile on her face, and this is one of the most painstaking characters he created, and one of the few for whom some of the preparatory drawings survive.

      He painted it near the very end of his 4 year Sistine ceiling work, so he had a wealth of experience and experiment behind this particular creation. The drawings were very precise but he made a number of changes after finishing the fresco: the dark outline at the top of the head was a result of trying to enlarge the head itself after the plaster had dried. The dark area to the right on her waist is because he felt she was too thin in relation to the shoulders, so this was also expanded by painting on the plaster after it was set. Her right foot has been moved so that the original heel and the toes had to be painted out and repainted in a new position, and her right thumb was extended as well.

      I believe the pen brush and the pot of ink were added as an afterthought – the perspective is incorrect on them and it’s been painted over top of the marble background, so presumably was to indicate that the Libyan Sibyl had been writing and not just reading. I left it out only because that section had to be finished one night just before Christmas Eve and it was already gone midnight: the plaster had begun to set and the rain was literally pouring in through all the scaffold planks. My reference drawings were all soaked and falling to pieces and all the paint bowls were filling with water. To make matters worse her head was split between two scaffold levels and the upper level had almost no light. I had no idea how it would look later.. a couple of mistakes were made around the back of the head because I could hardly see a thing. In the end you can’t see them from the ground, or at least, nobody has mentioned them yet!

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