Michaelangelo Essay, Research Paper
Summary Michelangelo was a genius. He was among the few, if not the only artists to create multiple masterpieces. His skills in art were not limited to just one medium, such as stone, but he exploited himself with paper, plaster, and stone. His talent was to an extent where he would be referred to as divine, during his lifetime. He truly was a sign of a Renaissance Man. Michelangelo was born to a well off family in a city called Caprese, near Arezzo. His father was an official from Florence, who had connections to the rich Medici family. His mother was always weak and frail, and therefore, could not nurse Michelangelo. He was sent to Sentenbanyo where he would grow up. He played with stone and tried cutting it. Eventually, he would move back to Florence, which at the time, was the flowering city of the Renaissance. This meant there was a strong influence of humanism in the city, which influenced Michelangelo and captured his thoughts. Although he had no artistic background, Michelangelo decided he wanted to be an artist. At first, this angered his father, who really was just in search of money. Then, after many debates, Michelangelo’s father gave in and allowed him to take an apprenticeship under Domenico Ghirlandaio. His work at the hands of his teacher caught the eye of Lorezno Medici the Magnificent, the power in Florence. Lorenzo invited Michelangelo to sculpt for him. This visit allowed Michelangelo to meet many people who immersed in him in the principles of humanism. During his visit, Michelangelo sculpted the Madonna of the Stairs and the Battle of the Centaurs. After Lorenzo, his patron, died in 1492, Michelangelo left Florence. When he returned to his home, he studied the anatomy of the human body by dissecting humans. This followed the religious practices of Sarenetto, who was eventually burned at the steak. Soon after, Michelangelo created the Statue of a Man and Christ in Rome and sculpted the Virgin Mary holding the dead Christ in her arms. The Virgin Mary sculpture made his competitor Pieta so angry, that he carved his name on the statue. At this point, Michelangelo was being relied upon for the money of his family, including his father. Also, Michelangelo’s brother, Bonoretto got sick, which upset Michelangelo much. He paid for all the medical bills of his brother. Later on, he moved back to Florence. Here he was called upon to carve a badly damaged piece of marble into a statue. As usual, he worked in private for four years, and created David, a 14 foot tall statue of the King of Israel. Despite Michelangelo’s accomplishments, he still had competitors. Leonardo Da Vinci criticized Michelangelo, saying that sculptors only needed the strength, not the skill, to produce their work. This upset Michelangelo very much, and coincidentally, they were both called upon to paint a mural in Florence. Neither one finished, but they are both amazing even in their unfinished state.
After this competition, Michelangelo was called upon Pope Julius II to be his sculptor. In the project, Michelangelo would make a total of 40 statues, but Julius cancelled it. This angered Michelangelo, and he left Rome. The Pope went right back to Michelangelo and begged for forgiveness, and told him now to paint the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. This 6000 square foot undertaking would take Michelangelo a total of 6 years to complete. He had 13 assistants, but he insisted to do most the work himself. Michelangelo never considered himself a painter, but this undertaking proved him wrong. An incident occurred where the Pope hit Michelangelo because he thought the project was taking too long, so Michelangelo left. The pope apologized and Michelangelo continued to work until November 1, 1512, when it was unveiled to the public. Michelangelo then worked on a tomb for the Pope. He did not finish until 1516. Now, he was the head of his art studio and had become very wealthy. Then in 1519, he made a tomb chapel for Medici. It took him 15 years, but soon after, the Germans had sacked Rome in 1527. Both his father and brother died in the fight. Soon after, he met Vatillemtto Tomosso. He had very strong passions for this student, and the work Michelangelo produced began to gain a type of inner complexity. He later met Victoria Collonea, who increased the religious influence on his paintings. He sent her lots of art and felt much passion for her. Then, he went back to the Sistine Chapel. This time, he was assigned to paint again. This time, he created the famous Last Judgement. This painting depicts Jesus sending many humans to hell for their sins after he returns to make up the original sin. He included himself and Cardinal Viassigo, who had complained about the work, being banished to hell. This painting was so powerful, when the Pope saw it, he went down and prayed to god. In his old age, Michelangelo didn’t retire. In 1546, he designed the St. Peter’s Cathedral Dome, which he never got to see completed. At the end of his life, he sculpted the Deposition of Christ. These painting showed less perfect figures than the earlier paintings, depicting more real images of humans. Again, he attempted to carve the Pietas Robonni, and finished just 8 days before he died. He died on Feb 18, 1564 at 89 years old.