an essay on michelangelo

Posted by simar on September 08, 1999 at 07:58:24:

Michelangelo was one of the best known artists in the 16th century. He lived during 1475 to 1564 and was one of the most famous artists in history. The works of Michelangelo cover the sculptures he made, the beautiful paintings he drew, and the occasional tombs he architecture. The great works of Michelangelo like the paintings at the Satine Chapel and the statue of David can still be seen and admired. Though the world today sees only the artist side of the last giant of the renaissance period, the sad part of the story is the artist's personal life. The following draft deals with the works and life of Michelangelo and the effects of society on him as well as what made him draw or make these vastly popularised pieces of art.

The sociology of knowledge states that a society has influence on a person's thought and knowledge, the same was in the case of Michelangelo. The society was main influence on Michelangelo's life. He was brought up in the mountains of Florence where the people were always chipping marbles and stones. Michelangelo once stated that "sucked in the craft of hammer and chisel with my foster mother's milk." Michelangelo was brought up in the family of stone cutters and saw these people creating art by shaping stones and thus he also got interested in sculpture. In his teenage years Michelangelo also went for painting classes under the supervision of painter Domenico Ghirlandaio and this was the foundation stone for him to later become a highly successful painter. Society also influenced his mind in many other ways. Michelangelo drew what he saw and what he thought. Thus it was the environment in which he dwelled that helped him create these images in his mind and further made him implement his designs on the marbles or on the walls. It was the society that made him famous and it was the society itself that created troubles for him. As his works were treated as the best, every ruler and every pope wanted him to do and create things in their honour. After Michelangelo had created sculptures for the one pope, every following pope wanted him to work for them. He started working for the rulers and the popes from his teenage years and continued to work for them until he died. This type of treatment by the society made his life miserable and he, at many times, even fled the city in which he was being governed and forced to do work for others. Thus we can see that it was the society which played an influential role in shaping Michelangelo's life and works.

Michelangelo's works also depicts what kind of person he was. Aestheticians have tried to learn how he imagined, created and performed these arts. These people have tried to reveal what made Michelangelo different from the other artists. Michelangelo was a very lonely person in real life. He had no life companion and that can be stated as the most likely reason as to why he always drew sculptures of people who were sad or were in pain. As Michelangelo had no close relatives he always tried to depict a picture of a mother carrying her child or a mother holding the body of her child. Michelangelo was also a very religious person too. This can be stated from his paintings that he made at the Satine Chapel where he painted nine scenes from the Old Testament-three scenes each of god creating the world, the stories of Adam and Eve, and Noah and the flood. These paintings were surrounded by the images of the prophets and the sibyls. Michelangelo showed his love for religion through the statues he created. For example, at the age of 23 Michelangelo made a statue of a dead Christ on the knees of Mary. The reasons given by people as to why Michelangelo was so different from the other artists was because he possessed the ability to carve or to paint people in their real moods. He mainly drew human figures and the power in these pieces is such that it can arouse strong emotions in many spectators. These figures seem to go beyond real people. They have an emotional quality in them and their physical shapes give a more real effect to them. The combination of emotions and physical appearance gives the viewer with a breathtaking experience. The works of this great artist show tragedy, pain and heroism but his works never seem false or untrue. They make the viewer feel as if these things have really happened. Michelangelo had the ability to say things through his works. By looking at the statues people can easily make out whether the person drawn is happy, serious, crying etc. He made paintings of men and women who were naked and was later criticised for that. It is also believed that Michelangelo was a homosexual as he never had any was found in the company of females and also as he made most of his sculptures depicting nude men. All this information were revealed or has come out due to the study of aesthetics or because of the studies made by the aestheticians.

On the 18th of October 1564, the last giant of the renaissance period departed from the earth. During his life Michelangelo played different roles of being one of the best sculpturist, a highly successful painter, a good architect and an occasional poet. His life has been the one full of arts. His desire to create things out of stone made him carve out pieces till the end of his life. If it hadn't been a lonely and sad personal life for him, his life could easily be stated as the complete life of all. In the end, Michelangelo will always be remembered for the great works he left for us to see and admire.

[ Dog-O-Matic essay board ]