In this school, run by Bertoldo, Michelangelo immediately attracted attention and soon entered the cultural circles of Florence, where he was accepted on an equal footing by prominent figures of the time – Poliziano, Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola.
Michelangelo chose sculpture, although his artistry in skill and strength will be equally great in this art form. Already in the early sculptural works of Michelangelo, experts discover the true scale of his talent. In small relief compositions created by a sixteen-year-old boy "Madonna near the stairs" and "Battle of the centaurs" of course, there is nothing student. Needless to say, they demonstrate bold and confident skill – they are clearly ahead of their time.
The first of these works, made in the traditional for Italian sculptors of the XV century. technique of flat, subtly nuanced relief, gives at the same time an example of the realization of the unconventional image of the Madonna and Child Christ endowed with unusual for the art of quatrocento strength and inner drama in "Battle of the centaurs" the relief gives the impression of a truly explosive force In the tangle of Sq. woven ν deadly battle, is already visible the main gem of Michelangelo’s work – the theme of struggle, which is interpreted as one of the primordial manifestations of existence.
After a bold breakthrough into the future, in the work of Michelangelo there is a process of slow and consistent formation of in-depth study of ancient and Renaissance art, a test of himself in different, sometimes very contradictory traditions.
Along with sculpture, Michelangelo did not stop studying painting, mostly monumental in his graphics there are independent motifs. But the period of apprenticeship for Michelangelo is so fleeting that it almost does not exist, he probably knows what he portrays while showing literacy and deep competence.
An important stage in the creative formation of Michelangelo was his stay in Rome from 1496 to 1501. Going beyond the Florentine artistic environment and closer contact with the ancient tradition helped to expand the horizons of the young master, enlarging the scale of his artistic thinking. However, his earliest Roman work – the statue of Bacchus is an example of not too deep transformation of ancient impulses.
Although, as Michelangelo himself wrote, he did not seek to follow Greek traditions "I will try to pump it with wine. and this will be the main difference from the Greek samples, when the sculpture is finished, let it be clear to everyone that Bacchus has gone too far. and his intoxicated state will be expressed on the face and in movements. For the Greeks, this is just an allegory of enjoying the aroma of ripe grapes. and I have the right to name my work "Bacchus drunk"…
The main work of these years is "Heel" ("Lamentation of Christ") in the Roman Cathedral (in Peter, commissioned by the abbot Saint-Denis – French envoy to the Vatican). This is Michelangelo’s first serious work as a master, but at the same time a work that caused a lot of personal doubts and brought him dissatisfaction with himself. "The work, more and more liked by the French prelate and his entourage, which alarms and upsets me a little, I admit that, in my opinion, I have not been able to express anything new in "Pieta" the whole sculptural buy compare contrast essay now composition is too timid and adapted to reveal something new"…
It should be noted that in this work Michelangelo "restrained" to comply with the requirements of the customer, but at the same time he portrays Maria as young and she is infinitely far from the conditional limit of emotional immobility of Gothic Madonnas of this type of her feeling – living human experience will squeeze with such depth and richness of shades that here for the first time
The whole depth of grief is guessed by the young mother’s outward restraint. Even the heavy compositional motif of the sitting Mother of God holding her son on her lap seems natural. After the roman "Five" Michelangelo created "Madonna with child" a small (1.28 m high) sculptural group, which later entered the church of Notre Dame in the Dutch city of Bruges This work in the work of Michelangelo opens a pinion of images marked by features.
A kind of lyricism; Madonna herself is especially attractive, in which the classical beauty and inner strength of the personality are combined with m"what poetry.
At the same time, Michelangelo began work on statues of saints for the Piccolomini altar in Siena Cathedral. The background for the statues is formed by a complex architectural composition of panels and niches in several tiers around the main arched niche of the altar (architect Andrea Brenno). Limited in his abilities by the distant stylistics of the general design of the altar, very closely connected with the spirit of the quatrocento, Michelangelo created four statues, monotonous in type, far from the most characteristic of his plastic manner. the motif of the movement is the figure of the Apostle Paul.
In 1501, Michelangelo returned to Florence and received a responsible order from the Florentine Signoria (Republican self-government): to sculpt a statue of David from a huge Marguerite block ruined by a talentless sculptor. In 1504 the work was completed. This work secures for Michelangelo the title of the first sculptor in Italy.
Unusual sizes "David" his gigantism (height 4.54 m) is an indicator of the real strength of the hero, because no wonder this work was designed to embody the image of a powerful defender of the Republic of Florence. Michelangelo continued here begun in Rome "Pieti" line of psychological interpretation, but psychologism "David" – a special, enlarged order, according to the scale and nature of this image. In the beautiful face of the young hero, in his gaze, with which he meets the enemy, is caught and the formidable expressiveness, which contemporaries considered an integral part of the works of the master.
The sculptor himself wrote: "David is the embodiment of my aesthetic and political motives, all my three passions … I passed on all my feelings and hopes to David, which only I know about … He is different from his predecessors and no longer looks like a woman -like young man without muscles. … I overturned the traditional notion of David"… Without resorting to strong compositional dynamics, to complex movement, the master created a type of hero full of courage, strength and readiness for action.
Around the same time, Michelangelo received another order – to paint frescoes on one of the walls of the hall of the Grand Council of the Palace of Signoria. Fresco composition by Michelangelo "Battle of Kashin" was to be paired with a fresco by Leonardo da Vinci – "Battle of anghiari" on the opposite wall of the hall. Michelangelo only managed to make sketches on cardboard for frescoes.
The master’s urgent departure for Rome prevented him from working on the painting. Cardboard has not survived to this day, but ancient copies, drawings and engravings suggest that in the evolution of Michelangelo’s painting, this work was as important a milestone as "David" in his sculpture. It depicted not the battle itself, but the moments that preceded it, when Florentine soldiers bathing in the Arno River were suddenly raised by a battle alarm, they went ashore, put on armor and took up arms to meet the enemy.
The motif of bathing allowed Michelangelo to present his characters naked and embody the heroic beginning not in the plot twists and turns, but, above all, in the expressive body language. The artist has convincingly shown how the impulse to action – the alarm signal – goes directly into the action itself, in which man acts in the unbreakable integrity of his nature and readiness to fight.
In 1505, at the invitation of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo moved to Rome. He was entrusted with the creation of the papal tomb. The project developed by the master was grandiose: it provided for the construction of a monumental mausoleum, including forty sculptures and bronze bas-reliefs, which Michelangelo was going to make his own. This plan, however, was not destined to come true. Julius II cooled down to his idea of the beginning and treated Michelangelo with contempt, after which the master left Rome without permission and returned to Florence.
In 1508, after reconciliation with Julius II, Michelangelo returned to Rome and began work on one of his brightest and most important works – a painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In this work, Michelangelo managed to realize his cherished dream: to create a grand fresco cycle, like no other in the world. The colossal fresco with a total area of over six hundred square meters (made by Michelangelo in twenty-six months between 1508 and 1512) did not have even remote prototypes in the previous painting of the Italian Renaissance, neither in its ideological program nor in terms of the monumental painting system.
The Sistine Chapel is a large room 34 m long, 12 m wide and 18 m high. Based on the actual configuration of the vault of the chapel, Michelangelo continued and developed its architecture by painting, highlighting along its longitudinal axis the middle, flattest part (the so-called mirror) and placing in it episodes of the biblical story of creation and the life of the first people on earth.
Angular triangular sails are occupied by huge compositions on subjects from other parts of the Bible. In the window spaces, the artist placed figures of twelve prophets and sibyls (soothsayers), and in the triangular moldings formed near the windows, and semicircular lunettes – images of the ancestors of Christ. These main images are surrounded by many auxiliary figures – perfectly beautiful young slaves (in the corners of the biblical scenes in the middle of the vault), small putti-Atlanteans (from the side of the prophets and siblings), interpreted in sculptural forms, and other images.
"There are a lot of interesting plots for me, and I’m afraid that I won’t have enough space for paintings … It feels as if already written scenes are growing, filling all the vaults in turn … and my imagination continues to generate all new scenes and images. .."… The result is a complete multi-component system, each part of which is perceived as an independent element and at the same time integrally belongs to one whole.
In this structure, Michelangelo was able to place reflected in the narrative compositions a kind of universal history of existence – from the initial cosmogonic shifts and the first acts of creation to the tragic catastrophes suffered by the human race, and individual events that were important in its fate.