Michelangelo Bounarroti His Life And Work

1356 words - 5 pages

Michelangelo Bounarroti is considered one of the most talented creators in the history of art. As a sculptor, painter, architect, and poet, he exerted a tremendous influence on his contemporaries and on the subsequent art world. His works are well know and easily recognizable. His life and works are still an inspiration to artist everywhere.Michelangelo was born March 6, 1475, in the small village of Caprese, in Florence. His father, Ludovico Buonarroti, was a Florentine official with connections to the ruling Medici family. At age 13, Michelangelo was apprenticed to painter Domenico Ghirlandio for two years. Shortly thereafter, while studying at the sculpture school in the Medici gardens and was invited into the household of Lorenzo de' Medici the Magnificent, leader of Florence at the time.While residing with the Medicis, Michelangelo had an opportunity to interact with the younger Medicis, two of whom later became popes (Leo X and Clement VII). These popes later commissioned him to do work. He produced at least two relief sculptures by the time he was 16 years old, (the Battle of the Centaurs and the Madonna of the Stairs), showing tremendous personal style early on. When Lorenzo died in 1492, the Medici family was expelled from Florence. Michelangelo fled Florence, and went to Bologna, there he continued to sculpt at the commission of local churches.Four years later, in 1496, Michelangelo moved to Rome, where he was able to study many newly unearthed classical statues and ruins. He soon produced his first large scale sculpture; bigger than life Bacchus, it is one of the few secular works made by the artist, and depicts the Roman god of wine with a satyr. Shortly after the Bacchus, in 1500, at age 25, Michelangelo completed his of three Pietas. The Pieta` is one of his most famous works and is the only work he ever signed. The Pieta` depicts the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of her son, Jesus Christ, on her lap. The detail in both figures is tremendous. Because artists of the time were subject to the moral standing of the church they were unable to study living human form. Michelangelo circumvented this by exhuming freshly dead corpses to study. It is speculated that this is one of the reasons he was able to realistically capture the lifeless body of Jesus. Back in Florence, Michelangelo began work on the fourteen and a half foot tall David. Completed in 1504, the Old Testament hero is depicted as an agile young nude, both muscular and alert, looking off into the distance as if sizing up the enemy, Goliath. The intensity of David's facial expression, called "terribilita`," is an often used feature characteristic of many of the artist's sculptures and paintings. David became the symbol of Florence and was placed in the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the town hall. With David, Michelangelo proved to his contemporaries that he surpassed both ancient and modern artists, because he was able to infuse formal beauty with powerful...

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