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A Troubled Genius: The Life, Art, Love, And Poetry Of Michelangelo Buonarroti

1369 words - 5 pages

Thrown into a world riddled with exuberant artistic ingenuity coupled with social turmoil and unrest, was a man who would forever be regarded as one of the most creative geniuses ever to walk the earth. Michelangelo Buonarroti, born in 1475 in Tuscany, initiated a period of innovative creation in art that was unprecedented in human history. This "Renaissance Man" was schooled in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, and writing, areas in which he quickly formed his own stylistic niche. Not only did he revolutionize the world of art, but his genius also spread into the realm of poetry, in which many of the innermost workings of his mind are revealed. It is clear from Michelangelo's works, both visual and poetic, that his years were filled with extreme agony over a multitude of conflicting emotional states, caused primarily by many of his life experiences. The artist's poetic style resembles much of his visual work in its convulsive and dynamic energy, profound philosophical concerns, and constant sense of sensuality and abandonment.Correlating directly with his fascination with the human psyche is his art's focus on humanity rather than the natural world. In all forms of his creation, Michelangelo strives to portray the intense emotions that result from living in and reacting to a dynamic environment that has many profound emotional and spiritual effects on the mind. It then logically follows that many of the themes found in Michelangelo's poetic works are related to love, mortality, and sexuality, notions with which he struggled violently throughout his life. The majority of Buonarroti's poems were comprised during the latter half of his lifetime, a period during which he began to examine these realms and sought a deeper meaning in the situations he faced. In particular, Michelangelo expressed through his poetry the cornucopia of conflicting emotions that love brings to anyone involved in a relationship. Using a number of vivid paradoxes and various images, he recounts how love both fulfills us and is detrimental to us.I feel my cold face kindled by a firethat burns me from afar, yet itself is icy;This type of fire imagery appears often in Michelangelo's work, perhaps signifying both the destructive and the purifying nature of fire and love alike. Another popular metaphor employed by Buonarroti is that of the eyes as the windows to the soul, the vehicle through which love enters the heart. With one glance, he writes, one can be completely enraptured by a potential lover.A single moment enflamed me,And I've not seen you more that just once.Clearly, Michelangelo was overtaken by the powerful nature of love. He sees love as an essential component of human existence, without which we are lost in meaningless lives of despair. It is crucial to note, however, that, even with love, humans experience intense suffering and thus can relate to the artist's conflicted state of intense joy coupled with overbearing anguish.My eyes are the ones that...

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