Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Renaissance Ninjas: Michelangelo and Raphael for Jan 24th

January 24: The Renaissance in Florence and Rome                                                          
Homework: Stoksdad 346-353
In Class: Lives of Artists – Raphael and Michelangelo; Michelangelo and Mannerism
Key Works and Terms:
  Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Ceiling
  Michelangelo, Pieta (13-7)
  Michelangelo, David (13-8)
  Michelangelo, Moses
Ron Mueck, Big ManMark Quinn, Alison Lapper Pregnant
  Mannerism, Patron

But why did Leonardo go to France if he had achieved such renown in Italy during his lifetime?
Perhaps because of the artist of the most famous sculpture in the world. 

Significance: With the David, Michelangelo achieves the embodiment of all the ideals of the Renaissance in a single figure:glorification of the individual human in both body and spirit; serene and composed, David implies potential movement and power without overstating the drama; perfectly balanced and proportioned, despite some exaggerations, the David  is unified and harmonious in part and in whole. Again through understatement, Michelangelo captures the spirit of Florence as it wanted to see itself, composed and quiet, but with terribilitá  or potential ferocity, simmering under the surface just in case Rome or any other Goliath thought to pounce on the small, vulnerable city. 
Michelangelo, David, 1504 source
By 1515, Leonardo likely sensed his light paling against Michelangelo's rising star. None had yet burned so brightly as that swarthy sculptor. Both Michelangelo and Raphael were in ascendance in Rome as Leonardo was aging, perhaps explaining why Leonardo left the city to go to France where he could continue to burn brightest in the constellation of lesser known artists there. As you will see, Raphael and Michelangelo remained in Rome and tangled with the popes for ultimate stardom.
Jacopino del Conte, Michelangelo, c. 1535
Michelangelo Some background:
Michelangelo was born in the village of Caprese near Arezzo, and, because his mother was very ill, dying when Michelangelo was six, he was nursed and partially raised by a stonecutter's wife. The mason worked at a quarry Michelangelo's father owned. A small time politician in the town, Michelangelo's father claimed royal blood, which few believe really ran in his veins. This may explain why, despite being raised in and around the rough conditions of a marble quarry, Michelangelo tended to excessive pride.
The Birth of Mary - Domenico Ghirlandaio
Domenico Ghirlandaio, Birth of Mary, ~1490
Michelangelo apprenticed with the painter Ghirlandaio, known for his sensitive portraits and religious cycles in fresco. 

Ghirlandaio (Michelangelo's Master) Old Man and His Grandson, ~ 1490
Like Donatello, Ghirlandaio did not flinch when confronted with ugliness, and found ways to capture the deep humanity in his every subject. Michelangelo, however, did not see himself as a painter; he once said jestingly to his friend Giorgio Vasari, also from Arezzo and known to us as the father of Art History,  "What good I have comes from the pure air of your native Arezzo, and also because I sucked in chisels and hammers with my nurse's milk," Michelangelo thus expresses the inevitability of his destiny to sculpt. 
What Michelangelo would do with the hammers and chisels he drank. Moses, ~1515 

The great tragedy of Michelangelo's life, laid out in Irving Stone's 1961 novel and Carol Reed's  1965 film The Agony and the Ecstasy, is that, perhaps due to the subterfuge of his key competitor Raphael, Michelangelo seldom got to practice the art that gave him sustenance.
Charlton Heston as Michelangelo
His monumental David, Moses, and the sublime Pieta are the major works in sculpture he managed to carve out time to complete.
Michelangelo, Pietà, ~1500, (13-7)

Possibly due to the machinations of his rival Raphael, or perhaps due to the quixotic nature of the warrior Pope Julius II, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and other paintings frequently stole Michelangelo's attention from his preferred craft. This may help to explain the extraordinary sculptural quality of the figures of the Sistine Ceiling. Raphael hoped that Michelangelo's slight experience with fresco and the ridiculously complex architecture of the ceiling would make his failure on the project inevitable, but even this enemy, Raphael, came under the spell of the ceiling's majesty.

Michelangelo, ignudi, Sistine Ceiling. ~1510

Prior to seeing the Sistine Ceiling, Raphael was known for his graceful, sweet images, with figures elongated and elegant and distinctly different from the sculptural boldness associated with Michelangelo.
Raphael, Crucifixion, 1502
 After spending time in Florence, and soaking up the Florentine influence, Raphael aimed for greater illusionism in his use of space, he developed compositions notable for their sobriety and balance, and created figures of far greater corporeal substance.
File:Raffael 030.jpg
Raphael, Madonna of the Meadow, 1506
Following that secret visit to the Sistine Ceiling, Raphael's work changed significantly again. Few doubt the powerful impact of Michelangelo's style on Raphael's later, and most celebrated works. Most famously, his School of Athens, painted at the same time as the Sistine Ceiling, demonstrates the way Raphael absorbed Michelangelo's method of using multiple styles to separate volumes in his paintings and, especially, the younger artist borrowed heavily from Michelangelo's emphasis on depicting the figure--particularly the male figure-- with solid sculptural volume and from every twisting, muscle flexing, angle.
File:Sanzio 01.jpg
Raphael, School of Athens, 1511

Moreover, in The School of Athens, Raphael created a paean to his own time, indicating his own awareness, and the awareness of others in his time, that the era he inhabited was in many ways particularly gifted, special, successful. By casting the great men of his own time as the greats of classical Greece, inside an architectural space that borrows from the classical vocabulary he both acknowledged the debt his era owed that time and those men and indicated the proximate greatness of his own time. 

The School of Athens [detail: 6] - Raphael
With characteristic sweetness and humility, Raphael painted his own self portrait small, young, and as a bit of a spectator on all this greatness. Tragically, Raphael died at just 37 years old, just 9 years after embarking on this new style. 

Raphael, portrait of Michelangelo as Heraclitus, 1510-11 (13-1 and 13-5)
File:Sanzio 01.jpg
Raphael, School of Athens, 1509-1510

1: Zeno of Citium 2: Epicurus Possibly, the image of two philosophers, who were typically shown in pairs during the Renaissance: Heraclitus, the "weeping" philosopher, and Democritus, the "laughing" philosopher. 3: unknown (believed to be Raphael)[14] 4: Boethius or Anaximander or Empedocles? 5: Averroes 6: Pythagoras 7: Alcibiadesor Alexander the Great? 8: Antisthenes or Xenophon or Timon? 9: Unknown,[14][15] Fornarina as a personification of Love[16] or Francesco Maria della Rovere? 10: Aeschines or Xenophon? 11: Parmenides? (Leonardo da Vinci) 12: Socrates 13: Heraclitus (Michelangelo) 14: Plato (Leonardo da Vinci)(Archimedes) (thought to be an amalgamation of the three) 15: Aristotle (Giuliano da Sangallo) 16: Diogenes 17: Plotinus (Donatello?) 18: Euclidor Archimedes with students (Bramante?) 19: Zoroaster (Baldassare Castiglione) 20: Ptolemy? R: Apelles(Raphael) 21: Protogenes (Il SodomaPerugino, or Timoteo Viti)[17]
graphic and text from Wikipedia
Raphael, Julius II, 1511

Raphael, Pope Leo X, 1518

Titian, Pope Paul III, 1548

Fil:Velázquez pope.jpg
Diego Velazquez, Pope Innocent X, 1650

Francis Bacon, Study After Velázquez' Innocent X, 1953

Excerpt from Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists:
Michelangelo Buonarotti of Florence, Painter, Sculptor and Architect (1475-1564)

note... most Italian Renaissance artists are known by their first names... Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael... though not always... many also go by nicknames, such as Botticelli (the little Barrel), Masaccio (clumsy Tom) or Masolino (little Tom). Seldom do historians refer to them by their last name, which usually just comes from their town of origin.

File:Michelango Portrait by Volterra.jpg
Daniele da Volterra, Portrait of Michelangelo, early 1500's
WHILE industrious and choice spirits, aided by the light afforded by Giotto and his followers, strove to show the world the talent with which their happy stars and well-balanced humours had endowed them, and endeavoured to attain to the height of knowledge by imitating the greatness of Nature in all things, the great Ruler of Heaven looked down and, seeing these vain and fruitless efforts and the presumptuous opinion of man more removed from truth than light from darkness, resolved, in order to rid him of these errors, to send to earth a genius universal in each art, to show single-handed the perfection of line and shadow, and who should give relief to his paintings, show a sound judgment in sculpture, and in architecture should render habitations convenient, safe, healthy, pleasant, well-proportioned, and enriched with various ornaments. He further endowed him with true moral philosophy and a sweet poetic spirit, so that the world should marvel at the singular eminence of his life and works and all his actions, seeming rather divine than earthy.
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Michelangelo's painting of the Head of Holofernes. A self-portrait?

In the arts of painting, sculpture and architecture the Tuscans have always been among the best, and Florence was the city in Italy most worthy to be the birthplace of such a citizen to crown her perfections. Thus in 1474 the true and noble wife of Ludovico di Lionardo Buonarotti Simone, said to be of the ancient and noble family of the Counts of Canossa, gave birth to a son in the Casentino, under a lucky star. The son was born on Sunday, 6 March, at eight in the evening, and was called Michelangelo, as being of a divine nature, for Mercury and Venus were in the house of Jove at his birth, showing that his works of art would be stupendous.
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Andreas Cellarius (c. 1596-1665)

Ludovico at the time was podesta at Chiusi and Caprese near the Sasso della Vernia, where St. Francis received the stigmata, in the diocese of Arezzo.
St Francis Receiving the Stigmata by El Greco
El Greco, St Francis Receiving the Stigmata, ~1590
On laying down his office Ludovico returned to Florence, to the villa of Settignano, three miles from the city, where he had a property inherited from his ancestors, a place full of rocks and quarries of macigno which are constantly worked by stonecutters and sculptors who are mostly natives. There Michelangelo was put to nurse with a stonecutter's wife.
File:Louis XIV and his nurse.jpg
Unknown Artist, Future Louis XIV with Wet Nurse, ~1640
Thus he once said jestingly to Vasari: "What good I have comes from the pure air of your native Arezzo, and also because I sucked in chisels and hammers with my nurse's milk."
What Michelangelo would do with the hammers and chisels he drank. Moses, ~1515
In time Ludovico had several children, and not being well off, he put them in the arts of wool and silk. Michelangelo, who was older, he placed with Maestro Francesco da Urbino to school. But the boy devoted all the time he could to drawing secretly, for which his father and seniors scolded and sometimes beat him, thinking that such things were base and unworthy of their noble house.

About this time Michelangelo made friends with Francesco Granacci, who though quite young had placed himself with Domenico del Ghirlandaio to learn painting. Granacci perceived Michelangelo's aptitude for design, and supplied him daily with drawings of Ghirlandaio, then reputed to be one of the best masters not only in Florence but throughout Italy.http://www.lib-art.com/imgpainting/0/8/10580-an-old-man-and-his-grandson-domenico-ghirlandaio.jpg
Ghirlandaio (Michelangelo's Master) Old Man and His Grandson, ~ 1490
Michelangelo's desire to achieve thus increased daily, and Ludovico perceiving that he could not prevent the boy from studying design, resolved to derive some profit from it, and by the advice of friends put him with Domenico Ghirlandaio that he might learn the profession. At that time Michelangelo was fourteen years old. The author of his Life, written after 1550 when I first published this work, has stated that some through not knowing him have omitted things worthy of note and stated others that are not true, and in particular he taxes Domenico with envy, saying that he never assisted Michelangelo.

This is clearly false, as may be seen by a writing in the hand of Ludovico written in the books of Domenico now in the possession of his heirs. It runs thus: "1488. now this 1st April that I Ludovico di Lionardo Buonarroto apprentice my son Michelangelo to Domenico and David di Tommaso di Currado for the next three years, with the following agreements: that the said Michelangelo shall remain‚ with them that time to learn to paint and practise that art and shall do what they bid him, and they shall give him 24 florins in the three years, 6 in the first, 8 in the second and 10 in the third, in all 96 lire". Below this Ludovico has written: "Michelangelo has received 2 gold florins this 16th April, and I Ludovico di Lionardo, his father, have received 12 lire 12 soldi." I have copied this from the book to show that I have written the truth, and I do not think that there is anyone who has seen more of Michelangelo, who has been a greater and more faithful friend to him, or who can show a larger number of autograph letters than I. I have made this digression in the interests of truth, and let this suffice for the rest of the life. We will now return to the story.

Michelangelo's progress amazed Domenico when he saw him doing things beyond a boy, for he seemed likely not only to surpass the other pupils, of whom there were a great number, but would also frequently equal the master's own works.- One of the youths happened one day to have made a pen sketch of draped women by his master, Michelangelo took the sheet, and with a thicker pen made a new outline for one of the women, representing her as she should be and making her perfect. The difference between the two styles is as marvellous as the audacity of the youth whose good judgment led him to correct his master. The sheet is now in my possession, treasured as a relic. I had it from Granaccio with others of Michelangelo, to place in the Book of Designs. In 1550, when Giorgio showed it to Michelangelo at Rome, he recognised it with pleasure, and modestly said that he knew more of that art when a child than later on in life.

One day, while Domenico was engaged upon the large chapel of S. Maria Novella, Michelangelo drew the scaffolding and all the materials with some of the apprentices at work. When Domenico returned and saw it, he said, "He knows more than I do," and remained amazed at the new style produced by the judgment of so young a boy, which was equal to that of an artist of many years' experience. To this Michelangelo added study and diligence so that he made progress daily, as we see by a copy of a print engraved by Martin the German [Martin Schongauer], which brought him great renown
Schongauer, St Anthony Beaten by Devils, 1470's
When a copper engraving by Martin of St. Anthony beaten by the devils reached Florence, Michelangelo made a pen drawing and then painted it.

Michelangelo . The Torment of Saint Anthony, ca. 1487. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. more

To counterfeit some strange forms of devils he bought fish with curiously coloured scales, and showed such ability that he won much credit and reputation. He also made perfect copies of various old masks, making them look old with smoke and other things so that they could not be distinguished from the originals. He did this to obtain the originals in exchange for the copies, as he wanted the former and sought to surpass them, thereby acquiring a great name .

At this time Lorenzo de' Medici the Magnificent kept Bertoldo the sculptor in his garden on the piazza of S. Marco, not so much the custodian of the numerous collections of beautiful antiquities there, as because he wished to create a school of great painters and sculptors with Bertoldo as the head, who had been pupil of Donato [Donatello]. Although old and unable to work, he was a master of skill and repute, having diligently finished Donato's pulpits and cast many bronze reliefs of battles and other small things, so that no one then in Florence could surpass him in such things. Lorenzo, who loved painting and sculpture, was grieved that no famous sculptors lived in his day to equal the great painters who then flourished, and so he resolved to found a school.
The Magdalen in Penitence
Donatello, Magdalen in Penitence, 1400's
Accordingly he asked Domenico Ghirlandaio that if he had any youths in his shop inclined to this he should send them to the garden, where he would have them instructed so as to do honour to him and to the city. Domenico elected among others Michelangelo and Francesco Granaccio as being the best. At the garden they found that Torrigiano was modelling clay figures given to him by Bertoldo. Seeing that in addition the boy had opened its mouth and made the tongue and all the teeth, Lorenzo jestingly said, for he was a pleasant man, "You ought to know that the old never have all their teeth, and always lack some." Michelangelo, who loved and respected his patron, took him seriously in his simplicity, and so soon as he was gone he broke out a tooth and made the gum look as if it had fallen out. He anxiously awaited the return of Lorenzo, who, when he saw Michelangelo's simplicity and excellence, laughed more than once, and related the matter to his friends as a marvel. He returned to help and favour the youth, and sending for his father, Ludovico, asked him to allow him to treat the boy as his own son, a request that was readily granted. Accordingly Lorenzo gave Michelangelo. a room in the palace, and he ate regularly at table with the family and other nobles staying there. This was the year after he had gone to Domenico, when he was fifteen or sixteen, and he remained in the house for four years until after the death of Lorenzo in 1492. I hear that he received a provision at this time from Lorenzo and five ducats a month to help his father. The Magnificent also gave him a violet mantle, and conferred an office in the customs upon his father. Indeed all the youths in the garden received a greater or less salary from that noble citizen, as well as rewards.File:Sistine Chapel ceiling photo 2.jpg
Additionally, Interesting
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Michelangelo cartoons himself cartooning God.
The sketch above accompanied a poem in a letter to a friend describing the discomforts of painting the Sistine Ceiling. You can find them also detailed in video in this experiment.

Here like a cat in a Lombardy sewer! Swelter and toil!
With my neck puffed out like a pigeon,
belly hanging like an empty sack,
beard pointing at the ceiling, and my brain
fallen backwards in my head!
Breastbone bulging like a harpy’s
and my face, from drips and droplets,
patterned like a marble pavement.
Ribs are poking in my guts; the only way
to counterweight my shoulders is to stick
my butt out. Don’t know where my feet are-
they’re just dancing by themselves!
In front I’ve sagged and stretched; behind,
my back is tauter than an archer’s bow!

The Sistine Chapel before cleaning
Sistine After Cleaning

Michelangelo painted the Ceiling from 1508-1512, the last judgement on the far wall in 15 . Several artists painted the story cycles on the walls prior to Michelangelo's work, including Perugino and Botticelli.
here's a good video that describes the experience of the sistine chapel.and here's a link to the Vatican Museum collections site, which has a good interactive Sistine Ceiling narrative.

Prior to 1700, most painters painted as part of decorative schemas for specific places, rather than making portable easel paintings. Prior to Michelangelo's work on the Sistine Ceiling, the chapel had painted decoration on the walls, tile work on the floors, and painted niches between the ceiling and walls. Michelangelo's task in creating a unified ceiling in a space with much existing decoration, some architectural molding work, and a curved vault awes me more the more I know.

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Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508-1512

plan of the iconography of the ceiling

And a bunch of details


Barbara Kruger, You invest in the divinity of the Masterpiece, 1982 The image “http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2713/4088774879_af36380d41.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


see many more details from the framing elements of the sistine ceiling here.
see many details of the central panels, as well as the last judgment wall fresco, here.

File:Creation of the Sun and Moon face detail.jpg

Raphael, Julius II, 1511
Ron Mueck, Big Man, 2000
Ron Mueck, Boy, 2005

more Ron Mueck, here

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