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A better image of part of the ceiling is here:

A high quality image of most of the ceiling is here (requires Quicktime):

Occasionally they just get things wrong

There’s a subtle difference between ‘showing the fig’ and ‘giving the fig’. What Michelangelo painted was ‘showing the fig’, which (as you say) is like giving someone the finger. ‘Giving the fig’ involved biting the thumb and was a threatening gesture. Remember –it was in the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet, Michael? (unless it's your mistake because you were thinking about that!)

Thanks for your review of The Sistine Secrets. HarperCollins has a great web resource called Browse Inside that lets you share up to 20 percent of this book’s content online with your readers for free. This is the link that you can use – feel free to share!


Jamie Goldberg, Publicity Intern, HarperOne

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