The Art of Michelangelo

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Throughout history, there have been several artists and inventors who have stood the test of time. Their creations are stunning and can be seen in many history books.

Today, I want to talk about one of those artists. His name is Michelangelo, one of the most famous artists, sculptors, and creators in history — from painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to designing the statue of David — beautiful art is Michelangelo’s legacy.

A Brief Biography of Michelangelo
Michelangelo lived during time called the Renaissance. a time in 15th century Italy where artists and sculptors made some of the most famous artistic creations in history.

In the year 1475, Michelangelo himself was born in a town called Caprese. located in the Tuscany region of Italy. When he was a young boy,Michelangelo moved to Florence, Italy, where he learned from a great number of creators and artists. Michelangelo had different training, though. He was an apprentice, which means that he studied closely under several expert teachers. Instead of sitting in a classroom, Michelangelo was experimenting with his art.

After this early learning period, Michelangelo moved throughout Italy, continuing to experiment and create paintings and sculptures. Throughout his adult life, Michelangelo worked in three major Italian cities: Bologna, Florence, and Rome. Often, powerful people in Italy would employ or hire Michelangelo to create different types of religious art. In fact, Michelangelo even worked for several popes! We’ll talk about his most iconic paintings and sculptures below.

Michelangelo continued to create art and sculptures until his death. He died in Rome in the year 1564. He was 88 years old, which was a very old age at the time. In the end, Michelangelo is known to be one of the three iconic figures of the High Renaissance in Florence. You have probably heard of the other two figures. They are Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.

Some of Michelangelo’s Greatest Works
That was just a very basic overview of Michelangelo’s life. That said, one of the best ways to learn about Michelangelo is to talk about some of his greatest works. While Michelangelo created many different paintings and sculptures in his time, the five works below are some of his most well-known and famous creations.

Marvel at the Pieta, a marble sculpture that was finished in the year 1499. It is a chalk-white marble sculpture of Jesus and his mother Mary. Specifically, you can see Jesus lying in Mary’s lap after he was crucified. You can see small nail marks in the wound on Jesus’s side. Michelangelo was hired to complete the sculpture by a French Cardinal named Jean de Bilheres. It took Michelangelo two years to complete it. You can see the Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. According to experts, the Pieta is “one of the finest sculptural masterpieces” on our planet.

Next, Michelangelo is famous for the statue of David, a 17-foot marble sculpture of the biblical figure standing naked and on top of a podium. This sculpture of David is after he agreed to fight Goliath, who is the large, terrifying person described in the Bible. You can see that David’s left hand is holding a sling and his right hand is holding a rock. Michelangelo took three years to complete this historical statue. It was finished in the year 1504. The statue of David is located in Florence and it has become one of the most recognized sculptures in the world.

Did we say historic? Let’s talk about the Sistine Chapel. This could be Michelangelo’s most famous work. Michelangelo was hired by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It took Michelangelo four years to complete the job, with the finishing touches occurring in 1512. The Sistine Chapel ceiling has many different visual representations of the Book of Genesis from the Bible. The creation of Adam is the highlight here, with God and Adam’s hands nearly touching. The next time you visit Rome, make sure that you stop by Vatican City and check out the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. Or join us for our virtual field trips and arm chair tours at The Adventures of Scuba Jack.

Then, there is The Last Judgment, also located in the Sistine Chapel rendered in High Renaissance style and substantial historical presence. This work is located on the altar wall of the Chapel. While the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has scenes from the Bible’s Old Testament, The Last Judgment depicts the second coming of Jesus. Interestingly, Michelangelo began working on the Last Judgment 25 years after he finished the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. It took Michelangelo 4 years to finish The Last Judgment. He was 66 years old when he finished this masterpiece.

Perhaps a crowning work is St. Peter’s Basilica located in Vatican City, and considered the largest church in the world. Compared to the four works above, Michelangelo worked with others in completing St. Peter’s Basilica, including redesigning its famous dome. However, Michelangelo died before St. Peter’s Basilica was complete, while Pope Pius V made sure that Michelangelo’s plans were carried out.

A true Renaissance Man. When looking back at the Renaissance, the term “Renaissance Man” is often used. Basically, a Renaissance Man is someone who is an expert in many different areas. Michelangelo was certainly a Renaissance Man. He used his knowledge in many different areas to create art that is treasured to this day. His art and sculptures are simply stunning.

Ultimately, Michelangelo was a genius. His many contributions to the art world will never be forgotten. If you haven’t yet seen the works I mentioned above, I encourage you to find pictures of them on the Internet. And if you can, go ahead and travel all the way to Italy to see these works in person. I’m sure that you will be impressed!

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