Michelangelo Buonarroti, born in the sixteenth century, was perhaps one of the greatest artisans of all time. He was an accomplished artist, sculptor, architect, and poet who demonstrated his great skill with the creation of many astounding works. Michelangelo's artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in its natural state. He is remembered today as the man who had sculpted the "David" and the "Pieta", which are two of the most stunning sculptures to come out of the Renaissance period. Although sculpting was the love of his life, his paintings of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and "The Last Judgement" are considered by many his best masterpieces. Michelangelo's artistic career can be divided into two periods. In the early period he focused on realism. During this early period Michelangelo's works included the Pieta and the David. At the age of 24 he completed a statue called the "Pieta," which is still in its original place in Saint Peter's Basilica. This marble sculpture shows the dead Jesus Christ in his mother's arms. In 1501 Michelangelo returned to Florence, Italy to sculpt the famous nude sculpture called the "David." The "David" measures 18 feet tall, and is so massive that it took 40 men to move it from Michelangelo's workshop (Liebert, 72). The second period of Michelangelo's career was based upon his own imagination. In 1505 Michelangelo was summoned by Pope Julius II to fabricate a monumental tomb for him. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions, and was never actually finished due to frustrating delays. A short time after starting the tomb, Pope Julius II selected Michelangelo to fresco the Sistine Chapel ceiling. When other artists were asked to paint ceilings they lied down on the scaffolding. Michelangelo painted in a standing position which caused him much discomfort (Liebert 146-147). Michelangelo even wrote a sonnet in which he...
Cited: Brandes, Georg. Michelangelo, His Life, His Times, His Era. New York: Frederick Unger Publishing Co., 1963.
De Tolnay, Charles. The Art and Thought of Michelangelo. New York: Random House, 1964 Liebert, Robert S MD. Michelangelo, A Psychoanalytic Study of His Life and Images.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.
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