MICHELANGELO Buonarroti was born on March 6 1475. He lived for almost a full century and died on died on February 18 1564; he was still working six days before his death. During his life, the western world underwent what was perhaps the most remarkable period of change since the decline of the Roman Empire. The Renaissance saw changes in all aspects of life and culture, with dramatic reforms sweeping through the worlds of religion, politics, and scientific belief. Michelangelo was one of the most fervent advocates of this exciting new philosophy, working with a remarkable energy that was mirrored by contemporary society. He was born at Caprese, in Tuscany, the second of five sons of Lodovico di Leonardo (a civil servant) and Francesca Buonarroti. The family had two homes: one in the Tuscan countryside, and a much smaller one in the city of Florence. In 1481, when Michelangelo was six years old, his mother died. 1481 was to be a portentous year in more ways than one, as it was also the year in which he had his first drawing lesson from a local artist named Francesco Granacci. In 1488, at the age of 13, Michelangelo moved to Florence and began working as an assistant to Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-94), who had recently started work on Florence“s Santa Maria Novella church. In 1489, after completing just one year of his apprenticeship, Michelangelo came to the attention of Lorenzo de“ Medici, who summoned the boy to his court. There, he was free to wander the gardens at will, drinking in all the fine examples of Classical statuary owned by the Medicis. It was there that he began to learn the secrets of sculpting, teaching himself by making drawings of the statues and attempting to recreate them in clay. He was aided in his studies by the elderly curator of the gardens, Bertoldo di Giovanni (1420-91), who had formerly studied under the master sculptor Donatello (c. 1386-1466). Through his association with the court of Lorenzo, Michelangelo was in contact with the most brilliant thinkers, artists and writers of his day. This experience was to enrich his life and consciousness. He was not only an artist, architect, and sculptor; he also wrote proficiently, producing countless poems and letters in his lifetime. Other influences on his young mind included two members of the church: one was his local priest, who, in return for the gift of a crucifix the young sculptor had carved, allowed him access to the bodies kept at the church so that he could study anatomy; the other formative influence was an articulate and opinionated monk named Fra Girolamo Savonarola (1452-98). He was a zealous reformer and an outspoken preacher; he was later to become the moral dictator of Florence for several months after the flight of the Medicis in 1494. He ruled by instilling religious fear into the Florentine people, foretelling great disaster if God was offended. His blistering sermons scalded many facets of Renaissance society and implicated many of the most powerful people of the day. This led to his eventual excommunication and execution in 1498; he was burnt at the stake in the Piazza della Signoria, where Michelangelo“s David was later to stand. Michelangelo first heard Savonarola preach in 1492, the year in which his first patron, Lorenzo de“ Medici, died and Michelangelo returned to his father“s home. The monk“s sermons and his subsequent violent death had a lifelong effect on the artist and many of his works; the loss of Lorenzo also deeply affected his artistic consciousness.
|Раздел:||Изобразителни изкуства, Изкуство, Книги|