Michelangelo was an optimist in his artwork and his sculptures. Michelangelo’s artwork consisted of paintings that showed humanity in its natural state. Michelangelo’s showed optimism in every figure he sculpted. Michelangelo’s sculpture brought out his true feelings of the world and how he viewed it. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing “The Tomb of Pope Julius II” and persevered it through its many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpting was Michelangelo’s main goal and the love of his life.
Since his art portrayed optimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive to the fullest. 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 (Munz 35)”. Michelangelo was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create a monumental tomb for him. “We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five abstract revisions (Muhlberger 22)”. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and . 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 (Muhlberger 25)”. 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. The mural overall consists of four large triangles at the corner; eight triangular spaces on the outer border; an intermediate series of figures; and nine central panels, all bound together with architectural patterns 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. 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 (Munz 32)”. 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 unrelated 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 nudes, but Pope Julius gave Michelangelo artistic freedom, and eventually ruled the chapel off limits to anyone but himself, until the painting was completed. The many nude figures are referred to as Ignudi. “They are naked humans, perhaps representing the naked truth (Scharttz 12)”. 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 (Munz 45).” 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 (Muhlberger 10)”.
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 predictable separation, with the saved ascending on the left side of the painting and the damned descending on the right into a darkening 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 toward architecture during this phase of his life. Instead of being respectful to classical Greek and Roman practices, Michelangelo used motifs—columns, pediments, and brackets—for a personal and expressive purpose. A Florentine—although born March 6, 1475, in the small village of Caprese near Arezzo—Michelangelo continued to have a deep attachment to his city, its art, and its culture throughout his long life. He spent the greater part of his adulthood in Rome, employed by the popes; however, he left instructions that he be buried in Florence, and his body was placed there in a fine monument in the church of Santa Croce.
Michelangelo portrayed optimism in his wok. Sculpting was where he wanted his heart dedicated. Michelangelo gave up painting apprenticeship to take up a new career in sculpture. Michelangelo then went to Rome, where he was able to examine many newly unearthed classical statues and ruins. He soon produced his first large-scale sculpture, the over-life-size Bacchus (1496-98, Bargello, Florence). “One of the few works of pagan rather than Christian subject matter made by the master. It valed ancient statuary, the highest mark of admiration in Renaissance Rome(Schwartz 56)”. At about the same time, Michelangelo also did the marble Piet? (1498-1500), “still in its original place in Saint Peter's Basilica. One of the most famous works of art, the Piet?, was probably finished before Michelangelo was 25 years old, and it is the only work he ever signed(munz 36)”. The youthful Mary is shown seated majestically, holding the dead Christ across her lap, a theme borrowed from northern European art. “Instead of revealing extreme grief, Mary is restrained, and her expression is one of resignation(Munz 37)”. In this work, Michelangelo summarizes the sculptural innovations of his 15th-century predecessors such as Donatello, while ushering in the new monumentality of the High Renaissance style of the 16th century. Michelangelo was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi. I did not see Strazzi as complementing him. Michelangelo responds in a pessimistic tone to what should have been a complement. Michelangelo said, “sleep is precious; more precious to be stone, when evil and shame are aboard; it is a blessing not to see, not to hear. Pray, do not disturb me. Speak softly(Muhlberger 67)”. During his long lifetime, Michelangelo was cherished by princes and popes, from Lorenzo de' Medici to Leo X, Clement VIII, and Pius III, as well as cardinals, painters, and poets. Neither easy to get along with nor easy to understand, he expressed his view of himself and the world even more directly in his poetry than in the other arts. Much of his verse deals with art and the hardships he underwent, or with Neoplatonic philosophy and personal relationships. The great Renaissance poets wrote succinctly of this famous artist: “Michael more than mortal, divine angel.” Indeed, Michelangelo was widely awarded the epithet“divine” because of his extraordinary accomplishments(Mulberger 73)”.
Two generations of Italian painters and sculptors were impressed by his treatment of the human figure: Raphael, Annibale Carracci, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Sebastiano del Piombo, and Titian. In conclusion, Michelangelo (1475-1564), was arguably one of the most inspired creators in the history of art and, with Leonardo da Vinci, the most potent force in the Italian High Renaissance. As a sculptor, architect, painter, and poet, he exerted a “tremendous influence on his contemporaries and on subsequent Western art in general(Munz 65)”.
Michelangelo’s works showed humanity in it’s natural state. Michelangelo’s sculptures were his goals. He was very intelligent in planning the works that he did. He always wanted to finish the works that he started on before moving on to another. He educates the people of today as well as the people in his time about the true religious aspects that there is to learn. Michelangelo was a role model for the people of his time as well as for the people of today. There is a respect for the works that he did and the talent that he had. Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, the large fresco on the altar wall, is one of Michelangelo’s best known creations in the Sistine Chapel. The sculpture David (1501-1504) came after the famous ceiling frescoes were painted. The 14.2-ft tall marble statue shows an alert David waiting for his enemy Goliath. It represents one of the earliest examples of mannerist art. Which Michelangelo did best in all of his artwork. He was the man of his times with everyone looking up to him and his work. For him to have accomplished the feat he did, “he had to give each piece of work an appropriate expression, pose, and costume"(Schwartz 15). All this Michelangelo has done, leaving us with a moment in history captured beautifully in his artwork. He was always positive at what he did. That’s what makes his work so peaceful and beautiful.