CANDLES FOR AN ARTIST: happy 538th birthday, Michelangelo!


Portrait of Michelangelo by Jacopino del Conte (after 1535) at the age of 60

Portrait of Michelangelo by Jacopino del Conte (after 1535) at the age of 60

Hello, readers!

I wanted to write this page the day of this unforgettable artist’s birthday, but the laptop was not at my disposal that day. So, I figured as long as I post this while it is still March, then it still counts! I hope you like the post!

It was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni’s 538th birthday this month-March 5th! A date to remember!

Michelangelo is one of the artists I look up to; aspire to…he received an awesome gift from God and he made sure to use that gift far beyond the norm. He was a highly skilled sculpter, architect and painter (despite not having as much respect for painting as the other visual arts he practiced…and that also made for some entertaining hater-ade between him and another painting genius Leonardo daVinci, another artist I highly admire). He was so very skilled, he even established a new style: Mannerism, a style of art that is somewhat exaggerated from the natural (elongated limbs for ex.). Michelangelo had an immensely grandiose style with a fierce beauty that is hypnotizing and unforgettable. I and so many others for centuries are in awe of his powerful works and his plethora of works. I am also awed by the fact he stood (not laid on his back as many think), at an advanced age, to paint 12,000 sq. ft. of  the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling for FOUR years!! Now THAT’S dedication! THAT’S an artist! (I bet he could’ve used a SERIOUS chiropractor after that!)

Here is an excerpt, from Wikipedia, about him (read more at Wikipedia):

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo (Italian pronunciation: [mikeˈlandʒelo]), was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.

Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and ever since then he has been held to be one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century.

Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. As an architect, Michelangelo pioneered the Mannerist style at the Laurentian Library. At 74 he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelangelo transformed the plan, the western end being finished to Michelangelo’s design, the dome being completed after his death with some modification.

In a demonstration of Michelangelo’s unique standing, he was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive. Two biographies were published of him during his lifetime; one of them, by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all artistic achievement since the beginning of the Renaissance, a viewpoint that continued to have currency in art history for centuries.

In his lifetime he was also often called Il Divino (“the divine one”). One of the qualities most admired by his contemporaries was his terribilità, a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur, and it was the attempts of subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo’s impassioned and highly personal style that resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.

Below are some fantastic images; only a VERY small portion of his expanse of work (I have ordered them by year).

Madonna of the Stairs. 1490-1492.22.3" x 15.8" (56.7 cm x 40.1 cm)

Madonna of the Stairs. 1490-1492.
22.3″ x 15.8″ (56.7 cm x 40.1 cm)

Battle of the Centaurs. Marble relief, 1492, 3'0" x 2'9" (90 cm X 84 cm)

Battle of the Centaurs. 1492
Marble relief, 3’0″ x 2’9″ (90 cm X 84 cm)

Pietà. 1498-1499.Marble, 68.5" x 76.8" (174 cm x 195 cm)

Pietà. 1498-1499.
Marble, 68.5″ x 76.8″ (174 cm x 195 cm)

Pietà. 1498-1499.Detail of Jesus.

Pietà. 1498-1499.
Detail of Jesus.

Pietà. 1498-1499.Detail of Mary.

Pietà. 1498-1499.
Detail of Mary.

Michelangelo’s signature carved into Mary’s sash (above): “MICHAEL. ANGELUS. BONAROTUS. FLORENT. FACIEBAT” (“Michelangelo Buonarroti of Florence Created This”).
According to Giorgio Vasari (a famed artist, historian and biographer of great artists), Michelangelo heard that others were being credited for the sculpture, so he chiseled in his name. He came to regret doing so, however; ashamed of his pride. He never signed another work again.

David. 1501-1504.Carrara marble, 17.0 ft (5.17 m)

David. 1501-1504.
Carrara marble, 17.0 ft (5.17 m)

Madonna of Bruges. 1501-1504.Marble, 15.0" (128 cm)

Madonna of Bruges. 1501-1504.
Marble, 15.0″ (128 cm)

* Tomb of  Pope Julius II and Moses *

Tomb of Pope Julius II. Carrara marble, 1505-1545.Rachel (left) and Leah (right) were probably completed by Michelangelo's assistants.

Tomb of Pope Julius II.
Carrara marble, 1505-1545.
Rachel (left) and Leah (right) were probably completed by Michelangelo’s assistants.

Tomb of Pope Julius II. Moses.Marble, 1513-1515, 92.5" (235 cm)

Tomb of Pope Julius II. Moses.
Marble, 1513-1515, 92.5″ (235 cm)

Interesting facts about Tomb of Pope Julius II: Click Here

Doni Tondo (also called: Doni Madonna, The Holy Family). 1507.Oil & tempera on panel, 47.5" (120 cm)

Doni Tondo (also called: Doni Madonna, The Holy Family). 1507.
Oil & tempera on panel, 47.5″ (120 cm)

* The Sistine Chapel Ceiling and Alter *

Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508 to 1512.Fresco, 133 ft long x 46 ft wide (40.5 m x 14.0 m)This is a small section. The fresco was restored during 1980 to 1994.

Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508 to 1512.
Fresco, 133 ft long x 46 ft wide (40.5 m x 14.0 m)
This is a small section. The fresco was restored during 1980 to 1994.

Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508 to 1512.Detail: Creation of Adam.

Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508 to 1512.
Detail: Creation of Adam.

Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508 to 1512.Detail: Creation of Adam.

Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508 to 1512.
Detail: Creation of Adam.

Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508 to 1512.Detail: Libyan Sibyl

Sistine Chapel ceiling. 1508 to 1512.
Detail: Libyan Sibyl
Michelangelo used a male model to render this woman’s powerful body.

Sistine Chapel alter. "The Last Judgement".Fresco, 1537-1541, 539.3" x 472.4" (1370 cm x 1200 cm)

Sistine Chapel alter. “The Last Judgement”.
Fresco, 1537-1541, 539.3″ x 472.4″ (1370 cm x 1200 cm)

Sistine Chapel ceiling and alter.

Sistine Chapel ceiling and alter.

Here is an interesting article I found, while searching images, about the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo: Click Here

* The Dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica *

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The Dome. Michelangelo re-designed it in 1547 (he had finished it to its base by the time of his death) & Giacomo della Porto completed it in 1590. Height from floor to the external cross: 448.1 ft (136.57 m). External diameter: 137.7 ft (42.0 m)

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The Dome. Michelangelo re-designed it in 1547 (he had finished it to its base by the time of his death in 1564) & Giacomo della Porto completed it in 1590.
Height from floor to the external cross: 448.1 ft (136.57 m). External diameter: 137.7 ft (42.0 m)

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The Dome's internal facade. Mosaic and stucco ornaments, internal diameter: 136.1 ft (41.47 m)

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The Dome’s internal facade.
Mosaic and stucco ornaments, internal diameter: 136.1 ft (41.47 m)

Michelangelo's plan for St. Peter's.

Michelangelo’s plan for St. Peter’s.

Michelangelo's dome sketch. This shows the double shell dome and lantern.

Michelangelo’s dome sketch.
This shows the double shell dome and lantern.

Michelangelo's sketch of dome. This shows a double shell with an early plan for the articulation of the drum. This design combines Donato Bramante's doubled columns with Florence Cathedral's occular windows.

Michelangelo’s sketch of dome.
This shows a double shell with an early plan for the articulation of the drum. This design combines Donato Bramante’s doubled columns with Florence Cathedral’s occular windows.

Interesting facts about the dome: Click Here

Interesting facts about the interior of the dome: Click Here

For more information and images on this legendary artist, visit these sites:

  • Biography.com: Click Here
  • Michelangelo.com: Click Here
  • Michelangelo’s Drawings (I would have posted more drawings, but the images stopped uploading to WordPress for some terrible reason-ugh-so check out this site): Click Here
  • Quotes by Michelangelo at Brainyquote.com: Click Here

Follow @SheDoesArtWow

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