Michelangelo Buonarroti Essay

1088 words - 4 pages

Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in 1475. He was born in a smalltown called Caprese, in Tuscany, Italy. Michelangelo was one of the mostfamous artists of the Italian Renaissance. According to Charles de TolnayMichelangelo's three greatest works of his later life, were the Tomb of PopeJulius II, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and the Medici Chapel(37).Michelangelo's specialty was painting the human body unclothed. Inorder to learn to paint the human body so well he would dissect humancorpses. His artistic talents were noticed at a very early age. Michelangelowent to study with Domenico Ghirlandago, who taught him about painting.He then went on to work with Donatello to learn about sculpture. Betweenthe years of 1490-1492 Michelangelo lived in the house of Lorenzo de'Medici and was influenced by Neoplatonic thought. Some of Michelangelo'searly painting showed the influence of Giotto and Masaccio. Also many ofhis early sculptures show the influence of Donatello (Columbia UniversityPress) .Michelangelo's artistic career can be divided into two periods. In theearly period he focused on realism. During this early period Michelangelo'sworks included the "Pieta" and the "David." At the age of 24 he completeda statue called the "Pieta," showing the dead Jesus Christ in his mother'sarms. In 1501 Michelangelo returned to Florence, Italy to sculpt the famousnude sculpture called the "David." The "David" measures 18 feet tall, and isso massive that it took 40 men to move it from Michelangelo'sworkshop(World Book 5016)The second period of Michelangelo's career was based upon hisimagination. In 1505 Michelangelo was summoned by Pope Julius II tofabricate his tomb. Michelangelo was so excited about making the tomb forthe Pope that he spent many months looking for the perfect piece of marble tomake the tomb. A short time after starting the tomb Pope Julius II selectedMichelangelo to decorate the Sistine Chapel ceiling.The Sistine Chapel is in the palace of The Vatican in Rome. TheSistine Chapel was built by Pope Sixtus IV in 1473. The Sistine Chapelceiling took over four years to complete, 1508-1512. Michelangelo was ableto accomplish this enormous job in such a short amount of time because of hisdesire to finish the tomb(Janson 359).The walls of the Sistine Chapel were painted twenty five years prior tothe painting of the ceiling. One of the walls in the chapel told the story ofMoses, and the other wall told the story of Jesus Christ. Michelangelo usedthe subjects of the paintings on the walls to determine the subject of hisfrescos,"...there remained only one subject he could use to complete the twopreceding ones, that is the story of humanity..."(Tolnay 41).The ceiling is made up of scenes from the bible. Michelangelo took thetext of the bible and painted it on the ceiling the way he interpreted it.According to Robert S. Liebert MD, "...the ceiling is an inseparableamalgam of the biblical text of Genesis, the sin and fall of man, the foretellingof redemption and...

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