Michelangelo

Category: History

Until nowadays the humanity failed to solve the riddle of Michelangelo’s incredible talent, inspiration, and success that gave him the opportunity to create brilliant and sophisticated works of art that people still admires today. Moreover, it is important to note that his work exerted tremendous positive impact on the further development of art. The given paper aims to describe and evaluate Michelangelo’s life and work. In addition, much attention will be paid to his unparalleled contribution to the world of art.

Short Biography of Michelangelo

Taking into consideration the estimations of the researchers, Michelangelo definitely was and will remain the greatest and the most talented artist of all times. Paintings and sculptures of this Italian artist are extremely versatile, extraordinary, and fascinating. Michelangelo’s work, especially painting, architecture, and sculpture was so popular that the biography of this Italian master was published when he was still alive. 

The Italian artist was born in 1475 in a small village Caprese, Italy that is known today as Caprese Michelangelo, and is one of the most popular destinations among tourists who appreciate and admire Michelangelo’s art. However, when Michelangelo was born, his family decided to return to Florence because of some reasons. When Michelangelo was only six years old his mother died because of a serious disease and, that is why, he was brought up by a family of a stonecutter. Although Michelangelo’s family sent him to Florence in order to give him the chance to get education and, especially, to study grammar, he was not interested in this form of schooling because painting was his unique passion at that time. Because Florence was the largest and the most important art centre at that period of time, Michelangelo Buonnaroti got an opportunity to develop as a painter and sculptor. Moreover, Florence is considered to be the birthplace and flowering of the Renaissance, and classical precepts of Italian buildings, exterior niches of luxurious churches, and sophisticated frescos that decorated the interiors of many old churches prove the popularity of the Renaissance style in Florence. Thus, many theorists assume that Michelangelo’s talent was awakened, developed, and inspired by the most talented painters, sculptors, writers, and philosophers of all times. All these famous personalities opened new opportunities to Michelangelo and gave him the chance to develop his distinctive style that is based on a so-called “muscular precision” combined with refined and lyrical beauty. 

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Famous Paintings of Michelangelo

Though some research studies prove that Michelangelo always stated he was not a painter but a famous sculptor as he even signed his artworks as “Michelangelo, the Sculptor”, during his lifetime he created numerous magnificent paintings, especially the Sistine Chapel ceiling as well as The Entombment, and, finally, The Last Judgment. It is important to emphasize that fact that the Sistine Chapel ceiling is one of the most widely recognized and magnificent Michelangelo’s masterpieces. Although the researchers did not manage to establish the exact date of its creation, it is believed that this artwork was pained between 1508 and 1512. Creation of this marvelous painting was very long and tiresome process as Michelangelo, as the historical data proves, created this painting in a standing position. However, very uncomfortable conditions and continuous physical discomfort did not spoil the innate beauty of this masterpiece. This famous work that belongs to the High Renaissance period bases on biblical themes as it demonstrates the need of the humanity for God’s salvation. This painting may be compared to a visual metaphor that proves that the belief in God is the unique chance of the humanity for salvation. Some narrative elements created by Michelangelo demonstrate that despite God created the perfect world for the humanity, people fell into disgrace and, consequently, were punished by the death as well as separation from their God. Regardless of the fact that the majority of the researchers provide various contradictory interpretations of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, all of them agree that it includes many symbolic elements and figures. Many experts who investigate Michelangelo’s artworks assure that numerous famous philosophers and painters influenced Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Scientists came to conclusions that Michelangelo’s style is a sophisticated combination of a dynamic motion and effective luminous coloring. Moreover, critics of this artwork claim that the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is the unique creation that has lasting impact of future generations. 

The significance of the Last Judgment that was created by Michelangelo during the period of Italian Renaissance is no less important. This exceptional fresco by Michelangelo demonstrates the Second Coming of Christ. Italian master started working on this masterpiece twenty years after he finished the creation of ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Although the Last Judgment has become the object of significant controversies and serious disputes among critics, the proponents of Michelangelo’s style neglect all superstitions and claim that this unusual image was created by Michelangelo solely with good intentions. 

Finally, it is rather important to note that, despite many critics claim that Michelangelo did not succeed in uncovering his talent and enormous potential in the Entombment, this artwork is recognized as the perfect manifestation of Michelangelo’s sophisticated taste as well as detailed synthesis of spirituality and sensuality. In other words, it is believed that the Entombment should be evaluated as the most transcendently beautiful and unconventional painting that Italian master ever did. The Entombment is very deep artwork that is characterized by such features as well-established genre of the artist and his unique sensual immediacy. Regardless of the fact that many professional painters criticize Michelangelo for his excessive distanced eroticism, nudity of his pictures, and strange sexual interests of the artist, it is believed that Michelangelo always focused on mysterious and untraditional depiction of sensual characters of his paintings and sculptures. 

Michelangelo’s Sculpture and Architecture

Harmonious silhouettes by the Italian master Michelangelo prove that he was not only a recognized painter, but a talented genius who impressed the world with the unique sculptures and architecture. The Madonna of Burges is one of the most incredible marble sculptures created by Michelangelo during his lifetime. This marble sculpture that represents Mary with her infant Jesus is a unique masterpiece because it drastically differs from many prevision artworks of this sculptor. In addition, the Madonna of Bruges differs from many other representations of the same subject because it depicts the infant Jesus who steps away from his mother in order to be closer to the humanity. 

David is one more Michelangelo’s masterpiece that demonstrates a marble nude statue. Although this statue is interpreted in controversial ways, its contribution to the Renaissance art is tremendous because this sculpture, similarly to the Madonna of Burges, differs from many other sculptures that were created during the Renaissance period and later. Thus, celebrated depiction of the Biblical personality named David brought Michelangelo a worldwide recognition in the world of art. This Marble statue is very famous for its proportional and harmonious portrayal of size as well as age of David because many other sculptors who created similar statues failed to find this harmony. On the contrary, Michelangelo’s feeling of spontaneous harmony gave the chance to this master to create his masterpiece. 

Therefore, many critics agree upon the fact that Michelangelo’s masterpieces of architecture stand out equally as fascinating, professional, impressive, and flawless as his paintings and sculptures. For instance, St. Peter’s Basilica is considered to be a triumphant masterpiece that greatly impressed the entire Europe. Michelangelo who designed this basilica together with other artists successfully created one of the largest and the most beautiful churches in the world. It should be stated that Michelangelo who was one of the most talented architectural minds in Europe at the period of Renaissance, tried to combine the ideas of the previous architects with his own grand vision. Many critics who analyzed Michelangelo’s architecture came to conclusion that he is very radical and extraordinary architect who was not afraid of experiments and innovative approaches to art. Finally, many critics of Italian artist’s architecture state that his style is incredibly versatile and complex. Michelangelo’s architecture may be compared to a so-called playful and complicated dialogue with classics and traditional style as the artist successfully combined columns and capitals with other details that did not belong to the Renaissance period. 

Conclusion

As a result, having shed light on the main biographical data of Michelangelo, and evaluated his paintings, sculptures, and masterpieces in architecture, it is possible to sum up that contribution of this Italian master to the world of art is enormous because he created dozens of innovative, complex, and irrevocably beautiful masterpieces that impressed the entire world. Michelangelo’s achievements are limitless because until nowadays no one managed to surpass his talent and the beauty of his triumphant masterpieces.

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