Biography of Michelangelo

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Jennifer Walsh
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One spring day in 1475, a baby boy named Michelangelo di Ludovico Buonarotti Simoni was born to Ludovico Buonarotti, a governor of a village in Italy, in Caprese, which was part of Florentine territory. His mother died when he was young, and he spent his early adolescence with his father and brothers. At age thirteen, he spent a year of his life with Domenico Ghirlandaio in Florence, painting, sketching, and studying art for hours each day (Nelson, page 5). Here, he admired many of the works of Giotto and applied his simplistic yet powerful style onto his canvas, copying the artist’s figures in an extremely accurate manner (Ripley, page 8). Lorenzo de’ Medici, known as the Magnificent for his artistic gift and riches, approached Michelangelo one day. Shortly after, he moved to Lorenzo’s palace and began to enjoy his happy life. In the monastery of San Spirito, there was a hospital that young Michelangelo would often visit. Though some people in Florence considered dissecting corpses to be sinful, Michelangelo owed much of his knowledge of the human anatomy to such acts (Ripley, page 16). Throughout the rest of his natural life, Michelangelo was commissioned many projects. All of which, were amazingly captivating and seemingly brought forth a new style of extreme realism to the field of sculpture.

Michelangelo was a fresh face in his time period. His art was clean and pure, and each detail was carved with precise care and labor. Born into the High Renaissance era--- which was extremely well known for featuring humanism, a definite light source, more naturalism, and no halos on angels---he soon became an influential painter in the development of Mannerism—a period that was classified by clashing colors, abnormally elongated limbs, emotion, bizarre themes, and an undefined light source, which was entirely different from the High Renaissance in which Michelangelo was birthed into. Michelangelo, as an artist, was a bit ahead of his time. While other artists were still attempting to master the human anatomy, Michelangelo was already mastering the facial expressions that could correctly be interpreted as whatever feeling the figure was meant to have. He had already mastered human anatomy. As with the Pieta sculpture, his talent began to seep through the mallet and onto the marble, as his works came to life. People were amazed as to how he could capture the purity of the Mother of Christ, while applying the physical vigor of a pagan statue (Ripley, page 24). The sculpture of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, was carved in a brand new perspective. Instead of an aged man of wisdom, Michelangelo’s version of Bacchus can be described as youthful and handsome. Once more, people are captivated by Michelangelo’s beautiful and unique interpretation of their god (Riley, page 22). Michelangelo was also a man of religion. He lived the Catholic faith, and this may be the reason why he vigorously worked on the Pieta sculpture for the Saint Peter’s church. He slept little during this project, but when he had completed it he was so proud of his work that he carved his name in the ribbon that ran across the Virgin’s breast (Riley, page 24).

Michelangelo had a very distinct art style. He, however, approaches the audience in a more timid manner. All of his works are unique and are made in his exact image. He hardly used models; most of the figures are made from the way he imagined it. There are no borders on the people, they move freely while keeping a tight general design. Michelangelo took great interest in the human anatomy, and this showed in his work. Leonardo DaVinci also greatly valued the human anatomy, and took time to study it. His art includes passion and through his science you can see wisdom and creativity. He was intrigued with how things worked, and made many contributions to the world of science, as well as the world of art. The larger difference in...
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