During the dates 1475-1564 there weremany famous painters working all around the world. One ofwhich was Michelangelo. He painted and sculpted manyfamous items that are still talked about today. Michelangeloled a very buisy life, as of which you will be reading abouttoday. Michelangelo was born in 1475 in a small village ofCaprese near Arezzo At the age of 13 michelangelo’sfather Ludovico Buonarroti placed michelangelo in theworkshop of the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio throughconnections with the ruling Medici family.

About two yearslater michelangelo studied at the sculpture school in theMedici gardens. Shortly thereafter he was invited into thehousehold of the Magnincent, Lorenzo de’Medici. Wherehe had an oppertunity to converse with younger Medici,which later became pope Leo X.

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As he was alsointroduced to humanists as Marsilio Ficino and the poetPolitian, who were frequent visiters. By the age of 16Michelangelo had produced two relief sculptures ,the battleof the Centaurs and the Madonna of the stairs, whichshowed that he had achieved a very personal style at a veryearly age. His patron Lorenzo died in 1492; two years laterMichelangelo fled Florence,when the Medici weretemporarily expelled. For a while he was settled inBologna, where in 1494 and 1495 he sculpted severalmarble statuettes for the arca (shrine) di San Domenico.Michelangelo went to Rome, where he was able toexamine many newly unearthed classical statues and ruins.He soon produced his first large sculpture the over life sizeBacchus in 1496-1498. One of the few works of paganrather than Christian subject made by the master, it rivaledancient statuary, the highest mark of admiration inRenaissance Rome.

At about the samr time periodMichelangelo did the marble Pieta in 1498. It was finishedin 1500. It was one of the most famous works of art, thePieta was probubly finished before Michelangelo was 25years old, and is the only piece of work he ever signed. Inthe piece the youthfull Mary is shown seated majestically,holding the dead Christ across her lap, it was a theme thatwas borrowed from northern European art. Instead ofrevealing extreme grief, Mary is restrained, and herexpression is one of resignation. In this work, Michelangelosummerizes the sculptural innovations of his 15th-centurypredecessors such as Donatello, while ushering in the newmonumentality of the high Renaissance style of the16th-century.

The high point of Michelangelo’s early styleis the gigantic(4.34m/14.24ft) marble David, which wasproduced between the years 1501and 1504, after returningto florence.

The old testament hero is depicted byMichelangelo as a lithe nude youth, muscular and alert,looking of into the distance as if he was sizing up the enemyGoliath, whom he has not yet been encountered with. Thefiery intensity of David’s facial expression is termedterribilita, a feature characteristic of many ofMichelangelo’s figures and of his own personality. David,was Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, it became thesymbol of Florence and originally was placed in the Piazzadella signoria in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Florentinetown hall. With this statue, Michelangelo proved to hiscontemporaries that he not only surpassed all modernartists, but also the Greeks and the Romans, by infusingformal beauty with powerful expressiveness and meaning.While still occupied with David,Michelangelo was given anoppertnuity to demonstrate his ability as a painter with thecommission of a mural, the Battle of Cascina, destined forthe Sala dei Cinqueccento of the Palazzo Vecchio,opposite of Leonardo’s Battle of Anghiari.

NeitherLeonardo or Michelangelo carried there assignmentbeyond the stage of a cartoon, a full-scale preparatorydrawing. Michelangelo created a series of nude and clothedfigures in a wide variety of posesand positions that were aprelude to his next majos project, the ceiling of the SistineChapel in the Vatican. In 1505 the Pope Julius II recalledMichelangelo to Rome for two commissions. The mostimportant one was for the frescoecs of the Sistine Chapelceiling. Working high above the chapel floor, lying on hisback on scaffolding painting for 5 years. Michelangelopainted, between 1508-1512, some of the finest pictorialimages of all time. On the vault of the of the papal chapel,he divised an intricate system of decoration that includednine scenes from the book of Genesis, begining with theGod Seperating Light from darkness and including thecreation of adam, the creation of eve, the temptation andfall of adam and eve, and the flood.

These centrally locatednarratives are surrounded by alternating images of prophetsand sibyls on marble thrones, by other Old Testementsubjects, and by the studies and cartoons, devising scoresof figure types and poses. These awesome, mightly images,demonstrating Michelangelo’s masterly understanding ofhuman anatomy and movement, changed the course ofpainting in the West. Before the assignment of the SistineChapel ceiling in 1505, Michelangelo had beencommissioned by Julius II to produce his tomb, which wasplanned to be the most magnificent of Christian times.

Itwas to be located in the new Basilica of Saint Peter’s, thenwhile under construction. Michelangelo enthusiasticallywent ahead with this challenging project, which was toinclude more than 40 figures, spending monthes in thequarries to obtain the necessary marble. Due to a shortageof money, however, the pope ordered Michelangelo to putaside the tomb project in favor of painting the SistineChapel ceiling. When Michelangelo went back to work onthe tomb, he redesigned it on a much more modest scale.Nevertheless, Michelangelo made some of his finestsculpture for the Julius tomb, including the Moses(1515),the central figure in the much reduced monument nowlocated in Rome’s church of San Pietro in Vincoli.

Themuscular patriarch sits alertly in a shallow niche, holding inits hands the tablets of the Ten Commandments, his longbeard entwined in his powerfull hands. He looks as if hewas communicating with god. Two other statues, TheBound Slave and The Dying Slave (both structured in1510-1513) demonstrate Michelangelo’s approach tocarving. He left both statues unfinished either because hewas satisfied with them as is, or because he no longerplanned to use them. The project for the Julius Tombrequired architectural planning, but Michelangelo’s activityas an architect began in 1519, with the plan for the facadeof the Church fo San Lorenzo in Florence, where he hadonce again moved to. In the 1520’s he also designed theLaurentian Library and its elegant entrance hall adjoiningSan Lorenzo. After the completion of these oblectsMichelangelo took as a starting point thee wall articulationof his Florintine Predecessers, but he infused it with thesame surging energy that characterizes his sculpting andpainting’s.

Michelangelo used motifs-columns,pediments,and brackets- for a personal and expressive purpose. Heparticipated in the 1527-1529 war against the Medici andsupervised Florentine fortifications. While living in Florencefor this extended period, Michelangelo also undertook thecommission of the Medici Tomb’s between 1519 and1534 for the New Sacristy of San Lorenzo.

His designcalled for two large wall tombs facing each other across thehigh, domed room. One was intended for Lorenzo de’Medici, Duke of Urbino; and the other for Giuliano de’Medici; Duke of Nemours. The two complex tombs wereconcieved as representing opposite types: The Lorenzo, thecontemplative, introspective personality; the Giuliano, theactive, extroverted one. He carved magnificent nudepersonifications of Dawn and Dusk beneath the seatedLorenzo, Day and night beneath Giuliano; reclining rivergods were planned to be carved out on the bottom.

TheMedici Tombs were worked on lond after Michelangelowent back to Rome in 1534, although he never returned tohis birth city. In Rome, in 1536, Michelangelo went towork on the Last Judgement for the alter wall of the SistineChapel, which was finished by Michelangelo in 1541. Itwas the largest fresco of the Renaissance, it depictsJudgement day.

Christ, with a clap of thunder, puts intomotion the inevitable seperation, with the saved ascendingon the left side of the painting and the damned descendingon the right into a Dantesque hell. As was his custom,Michelangelo portrayed all the figures nude, but prudishdraperies were added by another artist a decade later, asthe cultural climate became more conservative.Michelangelo painted his own image in the flayed skin ofSaint Bartholomew. Although he was also given anotherpainting commission, which was the decoration of thePauline Chapel in the 1540’s, his main energies weredirected toward architecture during this phase of his life.

In1538-1539 Michelangelo recieved new plans for theremodeling of the buildings surrounding the Campoidogliothe capitol on the Capitoline Hill, the civic and politicalheart of the city of Rome. Although Michelangelo’sprogram was not carried out until the late 1550’s and notfinnished until the late 17th century, the Campoidoglio wasdesigned around an oval shape, with the famous bronzeequestrian statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius inthe center. At the same time that he preserved traditionalRoman monumentality, M Michelangelo brought new unityto the public building facade for the Palazzo deiConservatori. Michelangelo’s crowning achevement as anarchitect was his work at Saint Peter’s Basilica, where hewas made chief architect in 1546. According to DonatoBramante the Dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica would beconstructed from his plans only, but Michelangelo ultimatelybecame responsible for the altar end of the building on theexterior and for the final form of its dome. The greatRenaissance poet Ludovico Ariosto wrote succinctly of thisfamous artist: “Michael more than mortal, divine angel.

“Indeed, Michelangelo was widely awarded the epithet”divine” because of his extraordinary accomplishments.Two generations of Italian painters and sculptures wereimpressed by his treatment of the human figure: Raphael,Annibale Carracci, Jacopo da pontormo, RossoFiorentino, Sebastiano del Piombo, and Titan. His domefor Saint Peter’s became the symbol of authority, as well asthe model, for domes all over the Western world; themajorityof state capitol buildingsin the united states, as wellas the Capitol building in Washington D.C., are dirivedfrom it.

Michelangelo died in 1564 and his body wasplaced in a fine monument in the church of Santa Croce. Toconclude, Michelangelo led a long and very talented life. Asa painter sculpture, poet and architect. He has manyfamous pieces of work still known and talked about today,all around the world. Many people knew him and lovedhim and those who didn’t know him personaly, knew ofhim.

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