Michelangelo: Renaissance Art (my-kuhl-an-jeh-lo) ( )

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1 Michelangelo: Renaissance Art (my-kuhl-an-jeh-lo) ( ) Renaissance Art Few people are famous enough to be called only by their first name. Michelangelo is one of them. Even as a child all he wanted to do was paint and be an artist. Michelangelo was able to work with some of the finest artists and philosophers of the time. Growing up in Florence during the Italian Renaissance was the perfect environment for young Michelangelo. Raphael: The School of Athens ( ), Da Vinci: Mona Lisa ( ), Caravaggio: The Calling of St Matthew ( )

2 Have you ever heard the word Renaissance? The Renaissance was a cultural movement which began in Northern Italy and spread throughout all of Europe. It is a French word meaning rebirth. The Renaissance spanned from the 15th to the 16th centuries and was a time of great intellectual and creative activity. Realism One of the big changes in art was to paint and sculpt subjects realistically. This is called realism and involves a number of techniques that make the subjects and background look like they would in real life. This also meant giving the subjects more emotional qualities. New Techniques and Styles Many new techniques were introduced during the Renaissance. These techniques helped to enhance the quality and realism of the art. Perspective - perspective is drawing or painting a picture such that it looks like there are three dimensions. It gives the illusion that some objects in the painting are further away than others. Balance and Proportion - Drawing subjects that are the correct size when compared to each other. Use of Light and Dark - Many artists started using light and shadows in their works to add drama, perspective, and timing to their art. Caravaggio used light and shadow to create drama. Sfumato - This was a technique used by Leonardo da Vinci to add additional perspective and dimension to paintings. It was a way of blurring the lines between subjects. This technique was used in Leonardo's Mona Lisa. Foreshortening - Another technique that added perspective and depth to paintings, foreshortening is a way of shortening lines to give the illusion of depth. The term Renaissance Man refers to a person that is an expert and talented in many areas. The true geniuses of the Renaissance were great examples of this. Leonardo da Vinci was a master painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor, architect, engineer, and writer. Michelangelo was also a superb painter, sculptor, and architect.

3 Pieta The Pieta, Michelangelo made his first great sculpture before he was even 25 years old. It s called the Pieta and shows Jesus lying in his mother Mary s lap. He carved it from one block of marble using chisels, hammers and pumice stones. Before Michelangelo, sculpture had been very stiff and without emotion, but here, you can see and feel Mary s sadness. The Pieta is the only piece of work Michelangelo ever signed. The story goes that, as he was delivering the sculpture himself, he overheard spectators saying that he was too young to have really created the work. Michelangelo was angry, and that night he returned and chiseled his name on it.

4 Statue of David David, Michelangelo's fame as a great artist began to grow. He returned to Florence and received another commission to create a large statue of David. It took him a couple of years to finish the giant statue. The piece of marble he began with was very tall and thin. Many people didn't think he could do much with it. He worked in secrecy, not letting anyone see it until it was finished. David became Michelangelo's most famous work of art. It is thirteen feet tall and was the largest statue made since Ancient Rome. It is considered by many experts in art to be a near perfect sculpture. It shows the hero David bravely holding his slingshot before his battle with Goliath. Michelangelo once said that the sculpture was trapped inside the block of marble and it was his job to let it out. Today the statue resides at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy.

5 Sistine Chapel Sistine Chapel, In 1505 Michelangelo returned to Rome. He was commissioned by the Pope in 1508 to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In addition to making sculptures, Michelangelo trained as a painter in both oil and fresco. Fresco is a technique of painting directly on a wall or ceiling. Colored pigment powder is added to wet plaster, and the color becomes permanent when the plaster dries. Painters have to work very quickly. He worked for four years, painting upside down on a scaffold in order to finish the painting. The enormous ceiling is 66 feet above the ground. The painting was huge

6 (141 feet long by 43 feet wide). It contained nine scenes from the Bible down its center and over 300 people. The most famous of all the scenes is The Creation of Adam. At the center of the scene, God's hand and Adam's hand nearly touch. This is one of the most recreated scenes in all of art and, along with the Da Vinci s Mona Lisa, that is one of the most famous paintings in history. Creation Architect Michelangelo was a brilliant man of many talents. He also worked as an architect. In this way he was a true "Renaissance Man" along the lines of Leonardo Da Vinci. He worked on the Medici Chapel, the Laurentian Library, and even the military fortifications of the city of Florence. Perhaps his most famous work was St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Fun Facts about Michelangelo His full name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. When he was seventeen he was hit on the nose by fellow artist Pietro Torrigiano in an argument. His nose was severely broken as can be seen in the portraits we have of Michelangelo. He thought that the painter Rafael convinced the Pope to have him paint the Sistine Chapel out of jealousy over his sculptures. He also painted The Last Judgment, a famous painting on the wall of the Sistine Chapel. No two of the 300 people painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel look alike. He was also a poet who wrote over 300 poems.

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