Hi everyone! This week I wanted to talk about Michelangelo and some of the works that I saw by him in Italy. For the people who know me, you guys know that I literally call Michelangelo “my homie” or “my boy” because I love him and his work so much! He is considered one of the greats for a reason, and his work really does show greatness.
To begin, Michelangelo was born in 1475 and died in 1564. His full name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. Some people know him as a sculptor and/or painter, but he was also an architect and poet. He spent most of his life either in Florence or Rome, sometimes he roamed around Italy.
The thing about Michelangelo is that he was famous or highly regarded in his own time. People understood the value of him and his art. Similar to the way we view actors and artists now with a level of respect, awe, and value.
One of the works we saw by Michelangelo was his David. This was such a large sculptor; it was 17ft high, and it was elevated up. This sculpture consumed the Accademia. Even though the sculptor was that high, the realism within the work was phenomenal.
This sculpture was created around 1501 and 1504. This sculpture is meant to represent David who killed Goliath, however Michelangelo’s representation of David is not accurate to the story. David was a kid when this occurred, and there’s no real reference here to Goliath. However, when Michelangelo created this work, he was being originally in creating an artwork that represents the inner bravery of David either before the fight or after the fight with Goliath. This sculpture was also meant to symbolically represent Florence, the underdog who has triumphed (like David did). Additionally, the reason why the sculpture is over 17 ft is because this was originally meant to be put on the top of the Duomo di Firenze, but once Michelangelo completed this the people didn’t want the sculpture to be that far from them.
I just love the realism and idealism of this artwork. Besides the size, Michelangelo strives for emotion in the face, and this idealism in the body that is too perfect to be real.
The next work I wanted to talk about is his Pieta. This is in the Basilica di San Pietro at the Vatican. Just a side note, this church is probably the most lavish church I have seen in my life. It was consumed with artwork and beautiful decorations; it was amazing.
When I saw the Pieta, I was dumbfounded and speechless. It is a such a beautiful artwork. Michelangelo knew how to make artworks that touched you. This was created with marble in 1498 to 1500. Michelangelo used one block of marble to create this artpiece. This sculpture shows the Virgin Mary holding her son after his death. The Virgin is shown as beautiful and young as a sixteen year old. Her body is stretched so that she can hold her child, as she held him when Christ was a baby. Though Mary is usually shown as extremely sorrowful at this moment, Michelangelo depicts her as accepting and knowing that this had to happen.
Out of all his artworks, this is the one that Michelangelo signed because he was so proud of his work in this.
I adore the fact that Michelangelo is making a reference here as Mary the mother who is holding her baby. When I saw this I thought of the many paintings we saw of Mary holding the child Christ and how Michelangelo even stretches the body out just show he will show Mary hugging and holding her child. It’s such a clever component to his work.
I know it’s kind of a cliche to group these artworks as his best works, which almost everyone does. But when seeing these works, you can feel emotion and experience beauty through a different way that makes these works worthy of being his best ones.
Feature Image from www.rct.uk