Michelangelo – Sculpture, Artist, Architect, Poet, Thinker:
Highly-respected and much sought after by the powerful, the wealthy and the influential of his day.
He was so admired that even during his own life-time he was referred to as ‘Il Divino’ – ‘The Divine One’, and he has since been described as one of the greatest artists of all time.
Yet, he was also very much at the mercy and demands of these same powerful, vainglorious and ambitious nobility: the Medici rulers of Florence and the Popes of Rome; and his life was frequently – and frustratingly for him – disrupted and uncontrollable as a result.
A number of Michelangelo’s works of painting, sculpture and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. Yet, he sculpted two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, before the age of 30.
And, with much reluctance and little appetite for painting, he also created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art:
– ‘Scenes from Genesis’ – on his world-famous ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
– ‘The Last Judgement‘ on the altar wall – also in the Sistine Chapel.
His output in these fields was truly prodigious. Yet to get a measure of the extraordinary genius that was Michelangelo, one need only see two of his stunningly beautiful, marble statues:
– The glorious, tender, emotive ‘Pietà’ – located in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome
– The stunning ‘David’ – in the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze – the Academy of Florence’
Sadly, as he aged, he began to doubt himself and his creations, and became somewhat withdrawn and reflective.
In spite of this, Michelangelo left the world a glorious legacy: so let me take you through some of the highlights of his life and his works, and hopefully, leave you agreeing with the words of his fellow artist, architect, writer and historian – Giorgio Vasari:
“… Anyone who has seen Michelangelo’s ‘David’ has no need to see anything else by any other sculptor, living or dead”.
With which I cannot but entirely agree – he was, truly – ‘Il Divino’!