Six Prophets and Sibyls

The Prophet Joel

early 1570s
(Italian, 1520–1582)
(Italian, 1475–1564)
Support: Two sheets (joined) of cream(1) laid paper, with edges (reinforced) laid down on strips (2 cm. wide) of laid paper
Sheet: 55.9 x 41.5 cm (22 x 16 5/16 in.); Secondary Support: 57.7 x 42.9 cm (22 11/16 x 16 7/8 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Lewis&Boorsch 44
State: ii/v
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


During the 1500s Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling was rarely open to the public and thus for the most part inaccessible. Artists, however, were generally allowed to visit the chapel to study and make drawings from the paintings. Giorgio Ghisi did so in the 1540s and created engravings of six of the chapel’s prophets and sybils. His Prophet Joel accurately reproduces the pose, costume elements, and architectural detail of the figure in a voluminous engraving technique, with dramatic darks and lights that evoke the three-dimensional forms of sculpture. Engravings such as this spread Michelangelo’s inventions throughout Europe, but in pieces: one still had to visit the chapel to see the whole composition.
The Prophet Joel

The Prophet Joel

early 1570s

Giorgio Ghisi, Michelangelo Buonarroti

(Italian, 1520–1582), (Italian, 1475–1564)
Italy, 16th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.