Michelangleo: Biography of a Talented Artist

Topics: Florence, Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Pages: 5 (1820 words) Published: April 23, 2007
Michelangelo: Biography of a Talented Artist

During the dates 1475-1564 there were many famous painters working all around the world. One of which was Michelangelo. He painted and sculpted many famous items that are still talked about today. Michelangelo led a very busy life, as of which you will be reading about today. Michelangelo was born in 1475 in a small village of Caprese near Arezzo At the age of 13 Michelangelo's father Ludovico Buonarroti placed Michelangelo in the workshop of the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio through connections with the ruling Medici family. About two years later Michelangelo studied at the sculpture school in the Medici gardens. Shortly thereafter he was invited into the household of the magnificent, Lorenzo de'Medici. Here he had an opportunity to converse with younger Medici, which later became Pope Leo X. He was also introduced to humanists as Marsilio Ficino and the poet Politian, who were frequent visitors. By the age of 16 Michelangelo had produced two relief sculptures, the battle of the Centaurs and the Madonna of the stairs, which showed that he had achieved a very personal style at a very early age. His patron Lorenzo died in 1492; two years later Michelangelo fled Florence, when the Medici was temporarily expelled. For a while he was settled in Bologna, where in 1494 and 1495 he sculpted several marble statuettes for the areca (shrine) di San Domenico. Michelangelo went to Rome, where he was able to examine many newly unearthed classical statues and ruins. He soon produced his first large sculpture the over life size Bacchus in 1496-1498. One of the few works of pagan rather than Christian subject made by the master rivaled ancient statuary and the highest mark of admiration in Renaissance Rome. At about the same time period Michelangelo did the marble Pietà in 1498. It was finished in 1500. It was one of the most famous works of art, the Pietà was probably finished before Michelangelo was 25 years old, and is the only piece of work he ever signed. In the piece the youthful Mary is shown seated majestically, holding the dead Christ across her lap; it was a theme that was borrowed from northern European art. Instead of revealing extreme grief, Mary is restrained, and her expression is one of resignation. In this work, Michelangelo summarizes the sculptural innovations of his 15th-century predecessors such as Donatello, while ushering in the new monumentality of the high Renaissance style of the 16th-century. The high point of Michelangelo's early style is the gigantic (4.34m/14.24ft) marble David, which was produced between the years 1501and 1504, after returning to Florence. The Old Testament hero is depicted by Michelangelo as a lithe nude youth, muscular and alert, looking of into the distance as if he was sizing up the enemy Goliath, whom he has not yet been encountered with. The fiery intensity of David's facial expression is termed terribilità, a feature characteristic of many of Michelangelo's figures and of his own personality. David, was Michelangelo's most famous sculpture, it became the symbol of Florence and originally was placed in the Piazza della Signoria in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Florentine town hall. With this statue, Michelangelo proved to his contemporaries that he not only surpassed all modern artists, but also the Greeks and the Romans, by infusing formal beauty with powerful expressiveness and meaning. While still occupied with David, Michelangelo was given an opportunity to demonstrate his ability as a painter with the commission of a mural, the Battle of Cascina, destined for the Sala dei Cinqueccento of the Palazzo Vecchio, opposite of Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari. Neither Leonardo nor Michelangelo carried there assignment beyond the stage of a cartoon, a full-scale preparatory drawing. Michelangelo created a series of nude and clothed figures in a wide variety of popes and positions that were a prelude to his next major project, the ceiling of...
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