Michelangelo

Michelangelo

Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry
and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo's artwork consisted of paintings
and sculptures that showed humanity in it's natural state. Michelangelo's
poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing
him. Michelangelo's sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was
optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through
it's many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo's
main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism
and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative
sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality.

Michelangelo's artwork consisted of paintings
and sculptures that showed humanity in it's natural state. Michelangelo

Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him
a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look
like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions.

The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted
figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have
statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active
and contemplative life-representative of the human striving for, and reception
of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of
the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What
was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays
and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope's tomb
when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to
complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall
organization consists of four large triangles at the corner; a series of
eight triangular spaces on the outer border; an intermediate series of
figures; and nine central panels, all bound together with architectural
motifs and nude male figures. The corner triangles depict heroic action
in the Old Testament, while the other eight triangles depict the biblical
ancestors of Jesus Christ. Michelangelo conceived and executed this huge
work as a single unit. It's overall meaning is a problem. The issue has
engaged historians of art for generations without satisfactory resolution.

The paintings that were done by Michelangelo had been painted with the
brightest colors that just bloomed the whole ceiling as one entered to
look. The ceiling had been completed just a little after the Pope had died.

The Sistine Chapel is the best fresco ever done.

Michelangelo embodied many characteristic
qualities of the Renaissance. An individualistic, highly competitive genius
(sometimes to the point of eccentricity). Michelangelo was not afraid to
show humanity in it's natural state - nakedness; even in front of the Pope
and the other religious leaders. Michelangelo portrayed life as it is,
even with it's troubles. Michelangelo wanted to express his own artistic
ideas. The most puzzling thing about Michelangelo's ceiling design is the
great number of seemingly irrelevant nude figures that he included in his
gigantic fresco. Four youths frame most of the Genesis scenes. We know
from historical records that various church officials objected to the many
nudes, but Pope Julius gave Michelangelo artistic freedom, and eventually
ruled the chapel off limits to anyone save himself, until the painting
was completed. The many nude figures are referred to as Ignudi. They are
naked humans, perhaps representing the naked truth. More likely, I think
they represent Michelangelo's concept of the human potential for perfection.

Michelangelo himself said, "Whoever strives for perfection is striving
for something divine." In painting nude humans, he is suggesting the unfinished
human; each of us is born nude with a mind and a body, in Neoplatonic thought,
with the power to be our own shapers. Michelangelo has a very great personality
for his time. In Rome, in 1536, Michelangelo was at work on the Last Judgment
for the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, which he finished in 1541. The
largest fresco of the Renaissance, it depicts Judgment Day. Christ, with
a clap of thunder, puts into motion the inevitable separation, with the
saved ascending on the left side of the painting and the damned descending
on the right into a Dantesque hell. As was his custom, Michelangelo portrayed
all the figures nude, but prudish draperies were added by another artist
(who was dubbed the "breeches-maker") a decade later, as the cultural climate
became more conservative. Michelangelo painted his own image in the flayed
skin of St. Bartholomew. Although he was also given another painting commission,
the decoration of the Pauline Chapel in the 1540s, his main energies were
directed