Motif: after Michelangelo Buonarroti
Type: Embroidered painting
Technique: Mixed embroidery
Year: 2018
Edition: Unlimited

Size: Small
Dimension: 30 x 20 cm | 11.8 x 7.9 in
Number of stitches: over 170,000
Thread length: over 1.9 km | over 1.2 mi
Thread colours: 26
Development: over 100 person hours


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About the artwork

God Creates Adam, the image of God, depicted as an old bearded man, gives the gift of life to Adam, is probably the most recognizable among Michelangelo’s frescoes adorning the Sistine Chapel. The fresco contains many details, hidden in plain sight, showcasing Michelangelo’s expert knowledge of human anatomy. For our embroidered piece, we’ve taken a segment of God’s hand almost touching Adam’s, rendering the motif with embroidered threads to the finest details, enhancing the colours of the age-worn fresco and refreshing them to their original hues with meticulous subtle colour transitions and shading. Creating the right colour palette was a special challenge – in order to get the right skin tones for hands, we had to employ special techniques of colour blending and thread mixing.

About the artist

Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet, is one of the best known High Renaissance artists. Born in Florence, Italy, has grown to become one of the best artists of his time and arguably one of the best artists of all times. Exerting incredible knowledge of human anatomy and combining that with immense artistic talent, his works remain a benchmark of realistic human depictions in some of the most demanding art mediums, such as frescoes and marble.


Innovation of layering

We layer multiple colours of threads and so create rich embroidery and colour texture that is impossible to create with classic one-layer embroidery technique. By layering, we develop colour transitions and shadowing, by which we create multiple-colour surfaces, similar to pointillism painting.

Smooth transitions and shading

By intertwining threads of endless colours and creating colour transitions, we can shape soft shadows, make one surface transition into another and mix colours into an endless multitude of hues. This way, we can also recreate motives from photographs and sophisticated art paintings which wouldn’t be possible with classic embroidery technique, using vector surfaces.

Sophisticated colour calibration

Usually in embroidery, 10 or 20, maybe 30 colours of threads are used. We use around 1,000 colour hues and if a colour still doesn’t match the desired one, we create it by layering and colour transitions. We have digitally scanned colours of all threads by using a spectrograph, so we can colour match any colour from an original material or from CMYK, RGB or Pantone colour schemes.

Creation of Adam by Ercigoj

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