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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Michelangelo

Michelangelo

Michelangelo

Michelangelo (1475 – 1564) was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the Renaissance who was born in Florence, and who had a monumental influence on the development of Western art. He is one of the greatest artists of all time, and he is often considered as a contender for the title of the leading representative of Renaissance man, along with his rival, Leonardo da Vinci.

Michelangelo’s Masterpieces

  • David
    • “David” by Michelangelo was completed in 1504 and depicts the Biblical hero David, who killed the giant Goliath with a rock from his sling. David is represented just before his battle with Goliath, tense and ready for combat, Michelangelo has captured the moment between decision and action, during the war between Israel and the Philistines. Museum: Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, Italy

Michelangelo

  • Pietà
    • Pietà by Michelangelo depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern European origin, and Michelangelo’s interpretation of the Pietà was unprecedented in Italian sculpture as it balanced the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty together with extraordinary naturalism. Christ’s face does not reveal signs of his suffering. Michelangelo did not want his version of the Pietà to represent death, but rather to show the serene faces and relationship of Son and Mother. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. Museum: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Michelangelo

  • Sistine Chapel Ceiling
    • The Sistine Chapel is the room where the College of Cardinals are locked in and required to decide on the next Pope. The walls and the ceiling are masterfully decorated. The walls are painted with frescoes by various artists, and Michelangelo painted the Masterpiece of the ceiling fresco. Museum: Vatican Museums

Michelangelo

  • Studies of a reclining Male Nude
    • “Studies of a reclining Male Nude” is a rare drawing by Michelangelo to have survived of the reclining figure of Adam reaching out to God the Father, whose touch grants him life. This studies of Adam was in preparation for the fresco of ‘The Creation of Man’ on the vault of the Sistine Chapel. It was drawn in dark red chalk over some stylus underdrawing. The reverse side of this paper has a drawing, also in red chalk, of the “Head of a Youth”, turned to the right, wearing a headscarf. Museum: The British Museum
  • Young Slave
    • “Young Slave” by Michelangelo is a marble sculpture started about 1525–1530 and is part of the “unfinished” series of prisoners called “Prigioni” in Italian “intended for the Tomb of Julius II. In the first version of the tomb of Julius II had a series of prisoners planned for the lowest level of the mausoleum. It was to be a series of more-than-life-size statues of chained figures in various poses, leaning on the pilasters which framed a set of niches, each of which would contain a “Winged Victory”. Museum: Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, Italy
  • Bearded Slave
    • “Bearded Slave” by Michelangelo is a marble sculpture from about 1525–1530 and forms part of the series of “unfinished” Prigioni intended for the Tomb of Pope Julius II. In the first version of the tomb of Julius II had a series of prisoners or Prigioni” in Italian, planned for the lowest level of the mausoleum. It was to be a series of more-than-life-size statues of chained figures in various poses, leaning on the pilasters which framed a set of niches. Museum: Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, Italy
  • Rebellious Slave
    • “Rebellious Slave” by Michelangelo is a marble sculpture created for the second version of the tomb of Pope Julius II which was commissioned by the Pope’s heirs in 1513. Although the initial plans by the Pope for a gigantic mausoleum were set aside, the work was still monumental, with a corridor which was to be richly decorated with sculpture. Michelangelo was commissioned for this project and among the first pieces completed were the two “Prigioni” renamed the “slaves” in the nineteenth century. Museum:  Musée du Louvre

Michelangelo

Michelangelo Quotes

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“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.”

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“My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it is through Earth’s loveliness.”

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“An artist must have his measuring tools not in the hand, but the eye.”

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“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.”

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“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”

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“I am still learning.”

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“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it. ”

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“I live and love in God’s peculiar light. ”

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Explore the Artists and their Art

Reflections

  • “The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.” –  Michelangelo

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“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
– Michelangelo

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Photo Credit:Daniele da Volterra [Public domain] 2)Jörg Bittner Unna [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)] 3)Michelangelo [CC0] 4) Jörg Bittner Unna [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)] 5)

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