Learn About Michelangelo in Art History View His Art and Famous Paintings
"Doni Tondo, Buonarroti, 1503
Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564 was one of Italy’s most famous artists in art history. As both a sculptor and a painter he completed the "Pieta" at the age of twenty-three in 1498-1500. His statement "The nearer painting approaches sculpture, the better it is", seemed to put him on a road to becoming a sculptor, and also seemed to foreshadow his style of painting for the Sistine Ceiling.
Asked by Julius II to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel he insisted painting was not his profession. Astonishingly he completed the famous paintings of the Sistine ceiling in just four years. As a painter Michelangelo did not like landscape art. He did not like Leonardo’s atmospheric perspective and he did not like Leonardo da Vinci. He preferred the old fresco art technique although he didn’t have much experience in it.
He often called the life of the human soul, that which is expressed in the beautiful structure and movements of the human body, the body being the "mortal veil" of devine intention. This is an thought he carried with him and expressed in his paintings all his life.
Michelangelo painted the "Doni Madonna", a tondo, signifying Renaissance marriage in 1503.
Although the rose and orange colors of the clothing don't coordinate well aesthetically; there is a feeling of power in the monumental size and foreground placement of the figures, possibly foreshadowing future Sistine Ceiling art figures.
Buonarroti's maturing painting style related to his sculpture, and eventually to his Sistine Ceiling figures, is evident in the painting "Bruges Madonna", 1503-1504. His art shows a simple, grander anatomical structure in the figure of the Christ Child.
The final development of his Sistine Ceiling figure style, is his "David" sculpture, 1501-04. It is a colossal triumphal nude figure with great muscularity raising humanity to a superhuman grandeur and beauty. It is an example of Renaissance idealism and heroism, Michelangelo carried over to his Sistine Ceiling figures, an art style that came to
represent the High Renaissance.
One of the most famous paintings in art history is the"The Creation of Adam", 1508-12.
The composition shows the dramatic transfer of life and soul from God the Father who reaches forth with the spark of life touching Adam while simultanously carrying Eve (possibly the virgin Mary) in his left arm.
As one of the most famous artists of the Renaissance Michelangelo painted "The Fall of Man and The Expulsion From the Garden of Eden", 1508-12. Adam and Eve are eating forbidden fruit from the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil", recommended highly by the serpent Satan.
In the same scene they are being expelled from the Garden of Eden by an angel of God brandishing a menacing a sword.
The art of the Sistine Ceiling has now been newly restored eliminating the buildup of grime and overpainting accumulated over many years.
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