Michelangelo: Creation of Adam

Background

As mentioned above: Michelangelo grew up in Florence and was the student of Domenico Ghirlandaio. He was a very talented artist and was an outstanding sculptor, artist, and architect. Also since he studied Ghirlandaio works, he became a famous painter, along with a sculptor, in all of Italy. One famous painted image is The Creation of Adam. He painted his vision of God and Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel when Pope Julius II was his patron.

Interpretation

This work of art was completed quickly compared to his other pieces, Michelangelo only took four days to create this well known section of ceiling, compared to the four years it took him to complete the whole ceiling. With such little time, in comparison to his sculptures, he still created an awe inspiring piece. Michelangelo wanted this piece to portray how God created the first man (Adam). God is reclining in something that looks like a “brain” because he creates everything by touch, according to Christians. The detail is amazing, it is especially present in Adam’s and God’s hands and in the perfect anatomy of Adam. This painting has a vanishing point on their fingers because that is the most important part of the piece, where life all began. This specific piece captures the spirit of the Renaissance because during that time people were very religious. The Creation of Adam is very important to the Catholic Church because it explains how everything all got here and was formed. Altogether, the Creation of Adam is a famous, but also elaborate painting, and is not only significant piece of art to the Renaissance, but also to the Catholic Church.

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Michelangelo: Pieta

Background

Michelangelo was one of the big three who lived during the Italian Renaissance , and was arguably the best artist of all time. As being one of the big thee, this meant that there were three great artists that lived during Renaissance, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael. Along with being a great sculptor, Michelangelo was also an amazing painter and architect, making him a peer artist. Being an artist at this time was hard in many ways. It is a low paying occupation so you need to be a patron, but it is also a vigorous job. Since Michelangelo was a very hard worker and was very talented, he had no trouble finding a patron. As we all know, during Michelangelo’s time with the Medici family he created the well known statue of David, but after the Medici’s lost power, Michelangelo moved to Rome. There, he found the French Cardinal Jean Billheres for a patron and he made another famous sculpture called the Pieta. The Pieta is a giant granite sculpture which Michelangelo sculpted at the age of 21 and was finished when he was roughly 24. He made this masterpiece for the St. Peter’s Basilica, a Catholic Church in Rome. The Pieta is Michelangelo’s interpretation of the Virgin Mary and her son, Jesus.

Interpretation

Michelangelo’s Pieta symbolises the time right after Jesus Christ was crucified by Pontius Pilate. His mother, Mary, was weeping and holding her deceased son, Jesus. This piece is very significant to the Catholic church and does a very good job of portraying the lifelessness of Jesus in Mary’s lap. There is a possible vanishing point in Michelangelo’s Pieta. Having Mary’s face in the middle (“vanishing point”) and above Jesus’s body brought out her emotions and made the piece even more life like. This statue’s beauty and detail is present in many ways. For example, how Jesus is just “draped” over Mary’s lap and how Jesus’s skin folds where Mary is holding him. Along with the astonishing detail, this masterpiece is a perfect example of the human anatomy, which was a huge theme in artwork during the Renaissance, and showed an almost life like statue of an important event in the Catholic Church, a very powerful religion during the Renaissance. Not only do people of the Catholic faith admire this wonderful piece of art, but other religions do too because of its amazing beauty and elegant detail.

Michelangelo: The David

Background

Michelangelo was born into a wealthy family, his father being a serving magistrate of the Florentine Republic during the Renaissance. But since Michelangelo wanted to be an artist, his family frowned upon him due to an artist’s low salary compared to his fathers rich job. Even without his family’s full support, he was a pupil of Domenico Ghirlandaio, Florence’s best wall painter during the time of the Renaissance, at age 13. There, Michelangelo quickly mastered the techniques of architecture, sculpting, and painting. After school, Michelangelo had very little money so he had to find a patron, someone he lived wiht and worked for. In his case it was the Medici family. During his service to the Medici’s, he sculpted the well known statue, the David. This enormous granite statue, standing at 14 feet 3 inches, was sculpted by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504.

Interpretation

This well known sculpture, was based off of the biblical hero, David. David was a courageous teen who killed the fearsome goliath with just his sling and a smooth stone. But during the Renaissance the massive sculpture was intended as a symbol of the new republic and also as a “protector of the city,” Florence. The David did not have a vanishing point but it did resemble the technique of perspective. David’s hands and feet are very large compared to the rest of his body. This is because, especially, the hands needed to be big to look proportional as you view them from the base of the 14 foot statue. The David took roughly four years to complete, and Michelangelo’s effort really shows with each specific detail. Details are especially evident in David’s hands where veins pop out of the granite material and make the statue so life like. This sculpture captures the spirit of the Renaissance because it is a sculpture of a nude human body. Since during the start of the Renaissance there was a huge emphasis on the human anatomy, sculptures of nude humans were created to stress the idea of the human body. The Renaissance was a time of many gorgeous pieces of art, and Michelangelo’s sculptures have impacted many sculptures that have come after it.