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Michelangelo the Optimistic Artist


Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his 
artwork. Michelangelo's artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures 
that showed humanity in it's natural state. Michelangelo's poetry was 
pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was 
complementing him. Michelangelo's sculpture brought out his optimism. 
Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II 
and persevered through it's many revisions trying to complete his 
vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo's main goal and the love of his 
life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, 
Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, 
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. Michelangelo Buonarroti was 
called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a 
monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look 
like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual 
revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to 
have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. 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. 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 under Sixtus IV. The 
overall organization consists of four large triangles at the corner; a 
series of eight triangular spaces on the outer border; an intermediate 
series of figures; and nine central panels, all bound together with 
architectural motifs 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 Christ. 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). 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 irrelevant 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 many nudes, but Pope Julius gave 
Michelangelo artistic freedom, and eventually ruled the chapel off 
limits to anyone save himself, until the painting was completed. The 
many nude figures are referred to as Ignudi. They are naked humans, 
perhaps representing the naked truth. More likely, 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." 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. 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 inevitable separation, 
with the saved ascending on the left side of the painting and the 
damned descending on the right into a Dantesque 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 obedient 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; 
characteristically, 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 both optimism and pessimism. Sculptures 
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 rivaled ancient statuary, the highest mark of 
admiration in Renaissance Rome. At about the same time, Michelangelo 
also did the marble Pietà (1498-1500), still in its original place in 
Saint Peter's Basilica. One of the most famous works of art, the Pietà 
was probably finished before Michelangelo was 25 years old, and it is 
the only work he ever signed. 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. 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 

 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". During his long lifetime, Michelangelo 
was an intimate of 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 poet Ludovico Ariosto 
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. 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.

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. Michelangelo 
was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. 
Michelangelo's works showed humanity in it's natural state. 
Michelangelo's sculptures were his goals. Michelangelo was very 
intelligent for the works that he did. Michelangelo always wanted to 
finish the works that he worked on before moving on to another. I 
think that Michelangelo was to good of a person. 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. 
Michelangelo was also a great poet, a pessimist, but a great one. 
Michelangelo is my role model. I respect him for the works that he did 
and the talent that he had. I want to be like Michel.

Last Judgment

Michelangelo's Last Judgment, the large fresco on the altar wall One 
of Michelangelo's best known creations is the of the Sistine Chapel, 
dates from 1536-1541-about 20 years sculpture David (1501-1504). The 
4.34-m after the famous ceiling frescoes were painted. The painting 
(14.2-ft) tall marble statue shows an alert David represents one of 
the earliest examples of mannerist art. This waiting for his enemy 
Goliath. It was originally is an alarming view of Judgment Day, with 
grotesque and created for the piazza in front of the Palazzo Vecchio 
twisted figures. While Christ stands in the center of the in Florence, 
Italy, but was later moved to the Galleria fresco meting out justice, 
the saved rise on the left and the dell'Accademia damned descend on 
the right.


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