Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
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Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, or more widely known as Michelangelo (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), was an Italian artist, painter, designer and poet of the High Renaissance, raised in the Republic of Florence, who had an unprecedented impact on the growth of Western art. Perceived by some of the best living icons of his generation, he has since been regarded as one of the best painters of all time. Despite having made few excursions beyond the arts, his creative adaptability was of such a high order that he was sometimes deemed a candidate for the title of archetypal Renaissance man, together with his competitor, his fellow Florentine and Medici customer, Leonardo da Vinci.
Michelangelo’s greatest-known work is certainly the fresco recognized as The Creation of Adam, portraying the story of the birth of humanity from the Genesis. Adam is depicted in a recumbent pose with the deity bending toward him, an classic art that appeals to viewers across the generations. Michelangelo is thought to have drawn influence from one of Ghiberti’s panels portraying Adam and Eve for this project.
Michelangelo was a practising catholic, but he was deeply inspired by the styles of ancient Greece and Roman, as well as evolutionary theory concepts in his works. For example, the design of the red cloak in Adam’s Creation resembles that of the human mind, indicating that Adam is filled with unique wisdom. Pope Julius II invited Michelangelo back to Rome in 1505 and wanted him to model the tomb of Julius himself. Due to the conflicts between Julius and Michelangelo, and so many other requirements of the artist’s period, the project had never been finished. However, Michelangelo had created a statue of Moses for the tomb.
The next significant project of Michelangelo was the dome of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican (1508-1512). It was acknowledged at once as a magnificent piece of art, and from then on, Michelangelo was deemed Italy’s best living artist. The dynamic, swirling forms and vivid colours of this art, and the sculptures with their squirming shapes, played a significant role in the creation of the modern creative revolution. Mannerism, primarily originating from the art of Michelangelo, is a specifically stylized type of elegant art that idealizes the body. It can be described by always dynamic, and often unusual, composition and excessive usage of vivid colours.
Without Michelangelo, the creations of later Mannerist artists such as Pontormo and Bronzino may not have evolved. Raphael was deeply inspired by Michelangelo, as were afterwards ceiling artists in the Baroque time, and several others since. The impact on artwork over the last decades cannot be assessed. He is rightly regarded as a visionary and a quintessential man of the Reformation Michelangelo was an example of a modern Visionary who achieved success in a variety of fields of art and intellectual accomplishment and was deemed a legend by his colleagues. He was the first painter to be known in his era, and his impact on the growth of western art could not be overestimated.