I love this image. It is from the Sistine Chapel. I don't really know why. It is a cropped image. A very simple composition. I have seen it reproduced 100 times on everything from a notebook cover to the outside of a pocketbook. When I think further I do know why it appeals to me visually. Two hands that are almost touching. Almost making a connection. It seems that there is anticipation illustrated in that space between the two hands. Almost tells a story. These are the things that I thought the first time I saw it. Before I went to art school. Before I studied the first word of art history. I just thought it was beautiful. I had no idea it was indeed a narrative. That it was an illustration of God and Adam. An illustration of the exact moment that God was giving life to Adam. From Wikapedia I understand, "The image of the near-touching hands of God and Adam has become one of the single most iconic images of humanity..." I think I have to agree that it is a fantastic vision of humanity. Trouble with lots of people thinking this is that it becomes an overused image. We see it so frequently it may be possible to disregard it. And because it is only one tiny snippet of the huge ceiling mural. Michaelangelo's masterpiece.
So the story is...."God is depicted as an elderly white-bearded man wrapped in a swirling cloak while Adam, on the lower left, is completely nude. God's right arm is outstretched to impart the spark of life from his own finger into that of Adam, whose left arm is extended in a pose mirroring God's, a reminder that man is created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26). Another point is that Adam's finger and God's finger are not touching. It gives the impression that God, the giver of life, is reaching out to Adam who receives it; they are not on "the same level" as would be two humans shaking hands, for instance."
To me, it is still a powerful illustration of humanity (probably taken out of context), but nonetheless!