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Michelangelo and The Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo always saw himself as a sculptor, even though some of his most famous works are his paintings and architecture.For one who thought he was best at sculpting, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel expertly and is infamous for his work on the ceiling these days. Have the art history writers at Paper Masters help you write a research project on the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo or any of his paintings.

Michelangelot carved his famous David, which stood outside the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence, unveiled in September 1504. The new Pope Julius II had been so impressed by the Pieta that he called the young sculptor to Rome in order to carve his tomb, paying him a year's salary in advance. Yet Michelangelo was no sooner started on the project that the Pope conceived a new project for the artist, painting the Sistine Chapel.

Some facts regarding the painting include:

  • The painting stands sixty feet above the floor
  • 5800 square feet of cracked plaster awaited Michelangelo's attention
  • According to Michelangelo, the Pope gave him a free hand in the artistry
  • The work took about four years
  • Michelangelo finished in 1512

When completed the Pope asked Michelangelo to provide gold trim on the garments and ultramarine to the sky, to which Michelangelo replied such things were "unnecessary".

In Michelangelo's words:

Painting is beautiful in the measure that it approaches sculpture; sculpture is bad the more it approaches painting.

In fact, when Pope Julius II ordered Michelangelo to decorate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in fresco, Michelangelo rebelled.The Sistine Chapel is an example of Michelangelo's impatience with others as previously mentioned.In the fall of 1508 Michelangelo began the painting of the Sistine ceiling, calling on assistance from Giuliano Bugiardini, Aristotile da Sangallo, Francesco Granacci and several laborers.However, the work that Michelangelo's friends and laborers put in was not up to his standards so he fired all of his assistants. In fact, Michelangelo completed the entire Sistine ceiling on his own.

Due to the shortage of money the pope ordered Michelangelo to put aside the construction of the tomb in favor of the Sistine chapel. Although the tomb was later finished by Michelangelo it was done on a much more modest scale. The tomb for Julius was just the beginning of Michelangelo's architecture. Once again Michelangelo went against the Greek and Roman architecture of the time, he used motifs-columns, pediments, and brackets for a personal and expressive purpose.

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