Michelangelo's Motivation Essay

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The night Michelangelo Buonarroti was born, “Mercury and Venus were in the house of Jove,” says Vasari. This means that, according to a lucky star, Michelangelo could be expected to produce extraordinary works of both art and intellect. How true this turned out to be! Whether it was fate or coincidence, few haven’t heard of this world renowned and avant-garde talent. From painting to architecture and sculpture, it seems like there is nothing Michelangelo couldn’t master. Michelangelo is said to have considered himself a sculptor, but why was it then that he produced his sculpture with such a unique and striking depiction of the human body? Why did Michelangelo create such masculine forms, and was it self expression that provoked this…show more content…
This fervent religiousness was, according to William Wallace, for the “salvation of his soul,” and achieved by Michelangelo as a means of “salvation through creation” (321). To repent for his sins, Michelangelo spent these last fifteen years of his life repenting for his sins through his artwork. His Rondanini Pieta, for example, was possibly created for the explicit purpose of his tomb. In his old age, and after the death of a close friend, it is apparent that Michelangelo’s awareness of his of mortality was heightened and “desire for salvation,” says Valarie Shrimplin-Evangelidis. The Rondanini Pieta depicts a disproportionate arm to the right of Christ, showing that at some point Michelangelo cut down the size of Christ’s arm to show less emphasis on the muscular male form and more on the subject matter. This also creates a sense of realism that is much more apparent in his later works and represents a definite shift in the way the Michelangelo depicts the human body. Wallace described this as, “confronting the unavoidable paradox of representing spiritual things in material form” (321-322). In the Florentine Pieta, much like the Rondanini Pieta, Michelangelo sought to depict the human form in a dominantly realistic manner. In comparison to his Rome Pieta, we can see how Christ appear slightly weaker, with skinnier legs and a more distorted body position. The women in the Florentine Pieta have more fitted clothes and it is
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