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Michelangelo Picture Timeline November 5, 2008

Posted by anagasto in art, building, drawing, history, painting.
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Madonna and child and little John the Baptist
in public domain according to http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/michelangelo#supersized-sculpture-193150



Location_Italy_EU_Europe

1475

Michelangelo was born in the Toscana region of Italy. He started to draw and paint at an early age and became an artisan’s apprentice, though his father would have liked him to go to the university.

Michelangelo’s teachers and friends were humanists.

The meaning of the term has changed.  Humanism started as a  need to discover the sources of philosophy, partly as a reaction to the power of the Church. They studied the Greeks, but also their own poet, Dante.  Michelangelo knew large parts of Dante’s Divine Comedy by heart.


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1496 BACCHUS

Michelangelo was 21 when he carved it. It is more than life size and many people even now think it suggests drunkenness too openly and is not nice to look at.

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1498 The PIETÁ

It is the world’s most famous and it bears MIchelangelo’s signature in Latin on that ribbon across the Virgin’s breast : Michelangelo made it

He was only 23 at the time. Some think it was his greatest moment.

The Pietà photographed by Stanislav Traykov published at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo%27s_Pieta_5450.jpg under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Maybe now  all those folds  in her dress look too imposing, but they were necessary to make the idea believable. Otherwise that Mom could never hold her son so lightly.

For the same reason she is younger than her boy, and his body does not show the signs of torture.  If she were old and he were all torn up, the sculpture would not invite prolonged looking.

According to a message received from 100swallows.Wordpress who knows everything about Michelangelo, her left hand (that you see on the right of the photo) is a later correction by someone who wanted to make it “more expressive”. — In her left hand there is a conventional gesture of resignation and as it is addressed to the viewer it takes away some of the otherwise awful silence of the figure.

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David photographed by David Gaya published under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelos_David.jpg

1501-1504 DAVID

It took three years to complete. Some would think this is what we mean by “realist art”, but that is nonsense. Every inch of this big statue is designed to rhyme and the whole thing is as artificial as a sonnet.

You’ll have to take your hat off to the sculptor, even if you don’t really like it. It is a classical ideal that goes back to the Greeks …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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carrara marble blockyard

1505

Nine months in the quarries of Carrara to cut marble for a tomb commissioned by the Pope.

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1506

Madonna and child and little John the Baptist
in public domain according to http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/michelangelo#supersized-sculpture-193150

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Creation of Adam photographed by The Pachyderminator published in public domain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Creation-of-adam.PNG

1508-1512 The SISTINE CHAPEL

Michelangelo learns the fresco technique of painting with watercolours on wet plaster. Eleven thousand square feet to paint while standing on a wriggly scaffold !

Below is a thumbnail just to give you an idea.

The diagram of the ceiling helps identify the Biblical figures and stories of the ceiling.  There are so many that each is lost in the crowd.

Michelangelo had to address the ceiling’s dimensions — some 5,800 square feet — its height above the pavement (almost 70 feet) , and the problematic perspective  of the vault’s height and curve.

Michelangelo succeeded in weaving together more than 300 figures in a sequence of narrative panels describing the creation, as recorded in Genesis starting with the creation of light.

>>>>> Based on excellent flashcards at http://quizlet.com/8180036/michelangelo-sistine-ceiling-gatta-notes-flash-cards/

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simpsons_god and adam

There was another Simpsons version  where god was floating above the garden gate as a mailman trying to deliver mail, with a frightened little dog barking at him from behind the gate, but I could not find that drawing anymore.

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1513-1517 MOSES

On his head Moses has something like horns. That is due to mistranslated Hebrew where beams of light were meant.

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marble-quarry-ref

1517—1521

Again working in the quarries of Carrara and Pietrasanta, and he begins his work on the tomb for the Medici family:

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Many people object to the lady’s more or less male body shapes, but those who love this sculpture point for instance to the curve of the neck as particularly beautiful.

A poet friend of  Michelangelo’s wrote an epigram for the figure saying it was sculpted by an angel. He added: “Though it is asleep, it is also alive and you can talk to it.”

And Michelangelo answered —  in the name of his sculpture:  “I am pleased to be asleep and even more to be made of stone  — as long as evil and meanness last. So do not wake me up –  no! and do speak softly.”

 In the original Italian:

Strozzi: La Notte, che tu vedi in sì dolci atti dormir, fu da un angelo scolpita in questo sasso, e perchè dorme ha vita: Destala, se nol credi, e parleratti.

Michelangelo: Caro m’ è ‘l sonno, e più l’esser di sasso, mentre che ‘l danno e la vergogna dura: Non veder, non sentir, m’ è gran ventura; però non mi destar, deh! parla basso.

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1528

There is a war and Michelangelo becomes Chief of Fortifications in the defense of Florence.

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fragment-last-judgmnt

1533 The LAST JUDGMENT

Michelangelo is again painting fresco in the Sistine Chapel. He finishes it in late 1541.

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There is a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican home site where you can look up and down and left and right all over :
http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/CSN/CSN_Main.html

And of course a modern viewer with his computer can get to know and appreciate at least some of them individually better  than any tourist ever.

(Who would have known that this was by Michelangelo? And in the famous chapel? I have been told it is the ferryman or boater who takes the souls of the dead across the river of Death.) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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1549 Architect of St Peter’s

saint peters

The photo  by Wolfgang Stuck is in public domain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Petersdom_von_Engelsburg_gesehen.jpg

It was an official appointment. Some now say that in architecture he was greater than even in sculpture.

Below is one of his architectural drawings: just straight lines and some  curves and yet his idea of beauty becomes visible. It is the drawing for a city gate.

Study for the Porta Pia (a gate in the Aurelian Walls of Rome), 1561
in public domain according to http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/michelangelo#supersized-ink-193219

However, this is the front of a building designed by him. He must have liked these repetitive series of identical elements. The fassade almost says “etc etc” to the viewer.

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And  this staircase is often mentioned as singularly beautiful and even as “his greatest architectural achievement.”

Imagine how sad for Michelangelo to be admired for a staircase! And it looks crammed, as if he would gladly have put in more of those unnecessary elements, if only there had been room for more.

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Laurentian Library vestibule and stairs. The photos are free as wallpapers at http://www.wallcoo.net/paint/Michelangelo_Buonarroti/Michelangelo_Buonarroti_sculpture_ml0005.htmlfrom

And this is his drawing for a secret library:

(I couldn’t find out why this library had to be secret, for instance like the Vatican library which was considered secret until recently.)

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1560

Michelangelo completes his model of the dome. He was 85 years old.

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Michelangelo’s last works

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He works on these two statues of mourning called  the RONDANINI PIETÁ  and the DUOMO PIETÁ. The face of the man holding the body of Christ in the Duomo Pietà is thought to be Michelangelo’s self-portrait.

Michelangelo died in February 1564.

What had happened to his ideal of beauty ?

The Rondanini Pietà photographed by Paolo da Reggio was published at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo_piet%C3%A0_rondanini.jpg under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

The photo  of the Duomo Pietà  is free at http://www.wallcoo.net/paint/Michelangelo_Buonarroti/Michelangelo_Buonarroti_sculpture_ml0005.html

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It was the Roman emperor Caesar who first sent his engineers to look for good marble, and they discovered Carrara.

For the tomb that a pope had commissioned for himself, Michelangelo quarried marble for three years, but then the pope changed his mind and asked Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine chapel instead.

At present Carrara still produces some 800 000 tons of marble a year.

The photo is from the great Stanford university page on the Quarry of Pietrasanta .

Sum-up Timeline:

1475 … . Michelangelo born in the Toscana
1496 .. . ….Bacchus
1498 …. …. The PIETÀ, often considered one of world’s best
1501-1504 …. DAVID
1505 ….. …… .. working in the marble quarries
1508-1512 …….. The Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco
1513-1517 ……….. MOSES
1517-1521 ………….. working in the quarries
1528 … … …………….. appointed Chief of Fortifications
1533 ………. .. …… ……. The Sistine Chapel front fresco
1549 …… … … ….. ……. .. starting out as an architect
1564 …. …. Death

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Comments»

1. emily jane - February 14, 2009

thanks this was very helpful to my report

2. josh - April 21, 2009

can you send a picture of michelangelo

3. josh - April 21, 2009

me to thanks

4. Anonymous - May 28, 2009

hi there my name is doug my master made me this collar so that i may talk.. squirel!…….. hi there!

5. Anonymous - May 31, 2009

i dont get it

6. Rags - July 25, 2009

Why didn’t the pope send somebody else to quarry the marble? Or why didn’t Michelangelo himself simply send somebody and maybe go there once or twice to supervise.

7. cantueso - July 25, 2009

I don’t know. There was a lot of politicking and there was even war all around there. The pope was also a warrior. One of Michelangelo’s bronze statues had to be melted down to make arms.

In Michel’s time, an artist had the social standing of an engineer. He was somebody and even an important somebody, but under orders, not free, but employed to carry out a project. Michel was mostly employed by the Church.

So maybe Michel had to go for technical reasons. Maybe. But perhaps he also did not mind leaving the city and its politicians for a while.

8. bellsandwhistles - November 16, 2010

Michelangelo is the greatest except maybe Leonardo.

9. Christmastimeishere - January 5, 2011

What kind of shoes does Michelangelo wear? I have to know this for a report.

cantueso - January 6, 2011

!!!
Really?
What kind of formation does your teacher have?
But I’ll try to find out. Back in an hour.

cantueso - January 6, 2011

There is nothing.
That is, people who have read about Michelangelo most extensively have not come across anything noteworthy about his shoes.

10. Anonymous - May 2, 2011

does it matter what happend it was so long ago

11. Anonymous - February 3, 2012

this is

12. Raina Courington - February 7, 2012

I’m continue studying from you, and I’m bettering myself. I actually enjoy reading everything that’s written on your site. Keep the posts coming. Really love it!


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