March 15, 2014
My report is about two works of High Renaissance Art, by Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. The two works of art to me represent High Renaissance Art at its best. The two pieces show art to be colorful, yet refined, subtle and perceptive. The Sistine Chapel is by far Michelangelo’s best work, because I love the bible and the themes he made to fit the verses. The Mona Lisa is beautiful to me and has beautiful coloring and has withstood the test of time. I will be talking about the form of these two pieces; the subject matter; and the content in my report.
My first painting is of High Renaissance Art The Sistine Chapel ceiling and is from the period of 1508-1512. The Sistine Chapel ceiling is by Michelangelo Buonarrti and was retrieved on the internet. The ceiling was a “fresco” painted ceiling. Michelangelo worked on the frescos for Pope Julius II in 1508. The most famous of these frescos is “The Creation of Adam.” The subjects of The Sistine Chapel are divided into three sections; The Creation of the Heavens and Earth, The Creation of Adam and Eve and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and Noah and the Great Flood. On the frescos of The Sistine Chapel ceiling were angels, God, Adam and mostly pictorial scenes from verses in the bible. Its importance in the history of art cannot be overstated. (Zappella, 2006) The High Renaissance Art is a 2-dimensional work of art and the materials used were: wet plaster, paints, scaffolding, and a mighty artistic hand of Michelangelo Buonarrti. Michelangelo Buonarrti built his own scaffolding during that time and instead of building it from the floor up; he built it from the wall out. A variety of colors was used to create the paintings on The Sistine Chapel ceiling and was also supposed to have gold and lapis lazuli for colors, but Michelangelo was said to have thought it would “take away” from his painting and therefore never used either colors. (Cohen, 2012) The lines on of The Sistine Chapel Ceiling are all of the line variations, such as, an actual line, and a jagged irregular line. The Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings shape is echoed throughout the frescos by Michelangelo. The texture of the frescos would have been smooth. The value of the frescos would have been seen with sunlight mostly at that time period and would have made it spectacular to view. The frescos are filled with a balance of unity and variety. Michelangelo finished The Sistine Chapel in 1512 and the Chapel serves as a sort of academy for young painters, which was put in place when Michelangelo returned 20 years later to paint The Last Judgment fresco on the Alter wall (Zappella, 2006) The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is a work of art that is representational. Michelangelo was a greatest artist of his time. Not bad for an artist who insisted he was not an artist at all. (Development, 2003-2014) (Frank, 2011) (Zappella, 2006) The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci is my second painting of High Renaissance Art from the time period of 1503-1506. The information was retrieved online and in the book. With Leonardo’s Mona Lisa the picture is not quite common for the Renaissance era. The face is turned nearly frontal; the shoulders are turned ¾ towards the viewer and the hands are included in the image. (Khan, 2006) The Mona Lisa is a 2-Dimentional work of High Renaissance Art and the materials used to create it were oil paints, a cottonwood panel, and Leonardo’s mighty hand and paint brush. The style that was used was a Sfumato and atmospheric perspective. Sfumato- a Smokey haziness to soften outlines and create an atmospheric effect around the figure. Leonardo was one of the first ones to use this technique in Florence, Italy. The painting was painted using a technique called Chiaroscuro. The colors used to produce the Mona Lisa were: earth tones, flesh tones and blues and greens. The line of the Mona Lisa is an actual line and a jagged, irregular line. The shape of the Mona Lisa is triangular, which Leonardo used. The texture of the Mona Lisa would have been smooth. The value of the Mona Lisa would have been suggestive of planes and textures. The balance of the Mona Lisa would have been unity and variety. The Mona Lisa has subject matter and that would be a Florentine woman of beauty. The Mona Lisa is likely a portrait of the wife of a Florentine merchant and her gaze would have been meant for her husband. The Mona Lisa was never delivered and Leonardo kept it when he went to work for Francis I. I think that Leonardo’s message would have been that he was painting the world something of beauty and leaving us in awe. The Mona Lisa is the most recognized painting in the entire world and has become an icon of the Renaissance. The Mona Lisa would have been a representational work of art. Leonardo Da Vinci wasn’t just a painter he was a sculptor, inventor, etc., and was the best at doing all of it. (Cohen, 2012) (Khan, 2006)
This is a comparison of what the Mona Lisa looks like now (on the right), and what she might look like if all the years of yellowed varnish were removed (on the left). The Mona Lisa’s smile has inspired many writers, singers and painters since the Victorian era.
Ceiling of The Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo Buonarroti
Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci
Cohen, J. (2012, November 1). History.com. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from History in the Headlines: http://www.history.com/news/7-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-sistine-chapel Development, P. f. (2003-2014, February 27). Rome.com. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from The Sistine Chapel: http://www.rome.info/michelangelo/sistine-chapel/ Frank, P. (2011). Prebles Artforms. New York: Pearson.
Khan, S. (2006, January 8). Leonardo's Mona Lisa. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from Smarthistory.com: http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/leonardo-mona-lisa.html Zappella, C. (2006, January 8). Michelangelo's Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from Smarthistory.com: