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Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Poet (1475–1564)


Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Poet (1475–1564)Michelangelo

Michelangelo Biography


Michelangelo is widely regarded as the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance. Among his works are the “David” and “Pieta”

Michelangelo is widely regarded as the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance. Among his works are the “David” and “Pieta” statues and the Sistine Chapel frescoes.

Michelangelo - Mini Biography

Michelangelo - Mini Biography
 
Michelangelo – Mini Biography (TV-14; 02:04) A short biography of Michelangelo, one of the greatest artistic geniuses who ever lived. His works are numerous, and include The David, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and the Pieta.

Synopsis

Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy. Born to a family of moderate means in the banking business, Michelangelo became an apprentice to a painter before studying in the sculpture gardens of the powerful Medici family. What followed was a remarkable career as an artist in the Italian Renaissance, recognized in his own time for his artistic virtuosity. His works include the “David” and “Pieta” statues and the ceiling paintings of Rome’s Sistine Chapel, including the “Last Judgment.” Although he always considered himself a Florentine, Michelangelo lived most of his life in Rome, where he died in 1564, at age 88.

Early Life

Painter, sculptor, architect and poet Michelangelo, one of the most famous artists of the Italian Renaissance, was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy. Michelangelo’s father, Leonardo di Buonarrota Simoni, was briefly serving as a magistrate in the small village when he recorded the birth of his second of five sons with his wife, Francesca Neri, but they returned to Florence when Michelangelo was still an infant. Due to his mother’s illness, however, Michelangelo was placed with a family of stonecutters, where he later jested, “With my wet-nurse’s milk, I sucked in the hammer and chisels I use for my statues.”

Indeed, Michelangelo was less interested in schooling than watching the painters at nearby churches, and drawing what he saw there, according to his earliest biographers (Vasari, Condivi and Varchi). It may have been his grammar school friend, Francesco Granacci, six years his senior, who introduced Michelangelo to painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. Michelangelo’s father realized early on that his son had no interest in the family financial business, so agreed to apprentice him, at the age of 13, to the fashionable Florentine painter’s workshop. There, Michelangelo was exposed to the technique of fresco.

Michelangelo had spent only a year at the workshop when an extraordinary opportunity opened to him: At the recommendation of Ghirlandaio, he moved into the palace of Florentine ruler Lorenzo the Magnificent, of the powerful Medici family, to study classical sculpture in the Medici gardens. This was a fertile time for Michelangelo; his years with the Medici family, 1489 to 1492, permitted him access to the social elite of Florence—allowing him to study under the respected sculptor Bertoldo di Giovanni and exposing him to prominent poets, scholars and learned Humanists. He also obtained special permission from the Catholic Church to study cadavers for insight into anatomy, though exposure to corpses had an adverse effect on his health.

These combined influences laid the groundwork for what would become Michelangelo’s distinctive style: a muscular precision and reality combined with an almost lyrical beauty. Two relief sculptures that survive, “Battle of the Centaurs” and “Madonna Seated on a Step,” are testaments to his unique talent at the tender age of 16.

Early Success and Influences

Political strife in the aftermath of Lorenzo the Magnificent’s death led Michelangelo to flee to Bologna, where he continued his study. He returned to Florence in 1495 to begin work as a sculptor, modeling his style after masterpieces of classical antiquity.

There are several versions of an intriguing story about Michelangelo’s “Cupid” sculpture, which was artificially “aged” to resemble a rare antique: One version claims that Michelangelo aged the statue to achieve a certain patina, and another version claims that his art dealer buried the sculpture (an “aging” method) before attempting to pass it off as an antique.

Cardinal Riario of San Giorgio bought the “Cupid” sculpture, believing it as such, and demanded his money back when he discovered he’d been duped. Strangely, in the end, Riario was so impressed with Michelangelo’s work that he let the artist keep the money. The cardinal even invited the artist to Rome, where Michelangelo would live and work for the rest of his life.

The ‘Pieta’ and the ‘David’

Not long after Michelangelo’s relocation to Rome in 1498, his fledgling career was bolstered by another cardinal, Jean Bilhères de Lagraulas, a representative of the French King Charles VIII to the pope. Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” a sculpture of Mary holding the dead Jesus across her lap, was finished in less than one year, and was erected in the church of the cardinal’s tomb. At six feet wide and nearly as tall, the statue has been moved five times since, to its present place of prominence St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Carved from a single piece of Carrara marble, the fluidity of the fabric, positions of the subjects, and “movement” of the skin of the Piet—meaning “pity” or “compassion”—created awe for its early spectators. Today, the “Pieta” remains an incredibly revered work. Michelangelo was just 25 years old at the time.

Legend has it that he overheard pilgrims attribute the work to another sculptor, so he boldly carved his signature in the sash across Mary’s chest. It is the only work to bear his name.

By the time Michelangelo returned to Florence, he had become something of an art star. He took over a commission for a statue of “David,” which two prior sculptors had previously attempted and abandoned, and turned the 17-foot piece of marble into a dominating figure. The strength of the statue’s sinews, vulnerability of its nakedness, humanity of expression and overall courage made the “David” a prized representative of the city of Florence.

Art and Architecture

Several commissions followed, including an ambitious project for the tomb of Pope Julius II, but that was interrupted when he asked Michelangelo to switch from sculpting to painting to decorate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The project fueled Michelangelo’s imagination, and the original plan for 12 apostles morphed into more than 300 figures on the ceiling of the sacred space. (The work later had to be completely removed soon after due to an infectious fungus in the plaster, and then recreated.) Michelangelo fired all of his assistants, whom he deemed inept, and completed the 65-foot ceiling alone, spending endless hours on his back and guarding the project jealously until revealing the finished work, on October 31, 1512.

The resulting masterpiece is a transcendent example of High Renaissance art incorporating the Christian symbology, prophecy and humanist principles that Michelangelo had absorbed during his youth. The vivid vignettes of Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling produce a kaleidoscope effect, with the most iconic image being theCreation of Adam,” a portrayal of God touching the finger of man. Rival Roman painter Raphael evidently altered his style after seeing the work.

Although he continued to sculpt and paint throughout his life, the physical rigor of painting the chapel had taken it’s toll on Michelangelo, and he soon turned his focus toward architecture.

Michelangelo continued to work on the tomb of Julius II for the next several decades. He also designed the Medici Chapel and the Laurentian Library—located opposite the Basilica San Lorenzo in Florence—to house the Medici book collection. These buildings are considered a turning point in architectural history. But Michelangelo’s crowning glory in this field came when he was made chief architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1546.

Conflict

Michelangelo unveiled the soaring “Last Judgment” on the far wall of the Sistine Chapel in 1541. There was an immediate outcr—that the nude figures were inappropriate for so holy a place, and a letter called for the destruction of the Renaissance’s largest fresco. The painter retaliated by inserting into the work new portrayals: Of his chief critic as a devil and himself as the flayed St. Bartholomew.

Though Michelangelo’s brilliant mind and copious talents earned him the regard and patronage of the wealthy and powerful men of Italy, he had his share of detractors. He had a contentious personality and quick temper, which led to fractious relationships, often with his superiors. This not only got Michelangelo into trouble, it created a pervasive dissatisfaction for the painter, who constantly strived for perfection but was unable to compromise.

He sometimes fell into spells of melancholy, which were recorded in many of his literary works: “I am here in great distress and with great physical strain, and have no friends of any kind, nor do I want them; and I do not have enough time to eat as much as I need; my joy and my sorrow/my repose are these discomforts,” he once wrote.

In his youth, Michelangelo had taunted a fellow student, and received a blow on the nose that disfigured him for life. Over the years, he suffered increasing infirmities from the rigors of his work; in one of his poems, he documented the tremendous physical strain that he endured by painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Political strife in his beloved Florence also gnawed at him, but his most notable enmity was with fellow Florentine artist Leonardo da Vinci, who was more than 20 years his senior.

Literary Works and Personal Life

Michelangelo’s poetic impulse, which had been expressed in his sculptures, paintings and architecture, began taking literary form in his later years.

Although he never married, Michelangelo was devoted to a pious and noble widow named Vittoria Colonna, the subject and recipient of many of his more than 300 poems and sonnets. Their friendship remained a great solace to Michelangelo until Colonna’s death in 1547. In 1532, Michelangelo developed an attachment to a young nobleman, Tommaso de’Cavalieri (scholars dispute whether this was a homosexual or paternal relationship).

Death and Legacy

Following a brief illness, Michelangelo died on February 18, 1564—just weeks before his 89th birthday—at his home in Macel de’Corvi, Rome. A nephew bore his body back to Florence, where he was revered by the public as the “father and master of all the arts,” and was laid to rest at the Basilica di Santa Croce—his chosen place of burial.

Unlike many artists, Michelangelo achieved fame and wealth during his lifetime. He also had the peculiar distinction of living to see the publication of two biographies about his life (written by Giorgio Vasari and Ascanio Condivi). Appreciation of Michelangelo’s artistic mastery has endured for centuries, and his name has become synonymous with the best of the Italian Renaissance.

RepSteve King in his own words ~This is a Public Servant? – a reminder



Information from CBS seems to infer that Rep. Steve King is going after President Obama’s Aunt .

Congressman Steve King, an Iowa Republican, today requested that President Obama’s aunt, Zeituni Onyango, testify before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law in order to address “the public perception that favoritism played a role in the grant of asylum to Ms. Onyango.

We should all let Rep. Steve King know that Eric Holder stated that we are a nation that avoids talking about race and was in no way was Holders statement shaped or formed the way King stated in his interview

Homelessness in Seattle ~ a repost a reminder


 

OutsideIN: 1,000 Safe by 2015

It’s now 2015 and while the homeless among vets might have been on the decline the cities renewal project has probably pushed a lot more into the label or category of being homeless

By Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project
Seattle, Washington

  • Petitioning Dow Constantine

“Nobody should have to go through what I went through on the streets. When the shelters fill up and people are left outside, they become vulnerable. We all need to act together to end homelessness because we are all connected.” – Susan Russell, Real Change Vendor

Fact: The 2014 One Night Homeless Count found 3,123 people sleeping outside in King County after the shelters were filled.  This was a 14% increase in the unsheltered count from the previous year. 

Fact: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Homeless Education counts at least 6,188 homeless students in King County, a more than 18% increase from 2011-2012.

Fact: According to the City of Seattle’s “Role of Shelter” report, more than 600 non-disabled single adults have languished in emergency shelter for six months or longer.

This is unacceptable. Strategic investments in the following areas will create the new housing and shelter capacity we need to get more people inside now:

Fund Additional Shelter: The more than 3,000 women, men and children that are living outside in King County on any given night deserve an emergency response. Invest immediately in additional shelter to bring at least 500 more people inside before January 2015.

Support Community Partnerships: Provide funding to expand partnerships between faith communities, civic groups and service providers to get more people off the street and ensure that no child or family sleeps outside.

Meet Immediate Basic Needs: Create a flexible discretionary fund for caseworkers to reunite families with bus tickets, get cars out of impound, or take other actions that quickly and inexpensively get people off the street.

Support Creative Housing Options: Provide financial incentives and support to private landlords and homeowners to match people experiencing homelessness with community members who have space to share.

We hereby call upon the Governing Board of the Committee to End Homelessness and our elected representatives in Seattle and King County to allocate the resources required to make 1,000 more unsheltered homeless people safe by 2015.

Green Planet …info on Kenaf -Working with Nature – a Repost


    featured photo is a sunset over Mumbai

The Wall Project – Brightening people’s lives.

Posted on 25. May, 2010 by admin in India, odd stuff

The Mumbai Wall Project began with a blank white compound wall, with an intense burning of “something has to be done to it” It starting with a few enthusiastic people, it has grown to be a bigger and bigger project seemingly taking a life of its own.

It was an initiative to add visual elements of colour, form and texture to a space, to make the area more alive and generate a feeling among people who pass by it daily. Not knowing how people would react, the first onlookers came out slowly and curious to see what was happening and then slowly people and even young kids came out to help and play their part.

Dhanya Pilo, Art Director and Founder of The Wall Project, notes: “Wall art has always existed in India on temple walls, village houses or old Bollywood art, creating a personality unique to each township.” Since public art has always existed, a creative platform of this kind was the logical next step.

The Wall Project have painted in many many nooks and corners of Mumbai. Bandra is the best location – as the best way to see all the wall art you need to cycle/walk around and you will find art work all over Bandra. More recently the wall project, got permission from the city to beautify the North –South roads in Mumbai as a canvas with everything being an inspiration, art, music, nature, love, the abstract, real life and the city itself. (This road is a huge landmark) Everything is acceptable apart from adverts, religious views, political slogans, and foul language. The premise that a work of art can make a colorful difference in the lives of individuals, communities, and cities, The Founders believe that grey, ugly spaces deserve beautification.
Everybody is welcome, not just artists, and they are always looking for permission and interesting locations to paint.

They have worked with a lot of people, shop owners, hospitals, NGO’s and the Alliance Francaise, Kaos Pilot, and are being invited by more people to showcase their ideas/skills. In January ‘08 they collaborated with Fine Art students of Rachana Sansad, Mumbai and painted shops as well as some other walls.

Over the years a lot of talented Graffiti artist from all over the world have come to paint, from Swedish writer Finsta to French writers Dezer, Keflione, Migwel, Rock, Posh, Seth, Boogie & Kid etc have all come and left their designs/marks/stories in the streets of Mumbai giving locals something to smile about.

Regarding, “The Great Wall of Mumbai” – on the Tulsi Pipe Road – They had been eyeing that wall for so so long. They had painted on walls of private homes, shops, schools, etc and they wanted to paint on major public spaces but thought that the process of getting permission would be too daunting and bureaucratic. They were completely surprised when R A Rajeev, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC approached them. He gave them complete creative control, it was a dream come true. Around four hundred people of all ages came to help. Some were not artists, some were not. It was about being inclusive and including the local population and the turnout was great.

The Mumbai Wall Projectis bringing the streets to life, in a positive and colourful way with more than 300+ pieces all over Mumbai.

If you want to keep in loop join The Wall Project Facebook Group, they posting most information there, and you can let them know if there are any specific ways you want to be part of the group. They say even dormant members will eventually get colourful, and out of their cocoon.


“This process allows one to be more observant about the spaces we use and move within and how we can use various art forms in the public sphere to generate an interest in the minds of our daily human lives. The wall project in its own way tries to start a conversation, with no political or religious attachments.” – Dhanya Pilo & Nitya Amarnath

Fuel – A different way of thinking?

Posted on 23. Jun, 2010 by admin in mishmash

As you may or may not be aware, I don’t feel that Carbon Dioxide is the the villain at the centre of the world’s problems . I personally believe that is a convenience for Governments to generate revenue amongst other things, a distraction from other more important matters. What I do believe, is that we are extremely wasteful of dwindling resources and are polluting our planet at an alarming rate… More kids are suffering with asthma that ever before. More people have respiratory illnesses than ever before. We are killing ourselves and the planet with pollution and waste in a thousand different ways.

So I was pleased to find The Fuel Film website

A few pollution information gems to consider:

• The levels of toxic diesel fumes inside school buses are 4 times higher compared with outside the buses.

• According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2 million premature deaths are caused each year due to air pollution in cities across the world

• A Scottish study has shown that jogging with traffic around results in reduced blood flow to the heart. This is particularly dangerous for people with stable heart disease, because it can trigger off cardiac arrhythmia or even a heart attack

• Every year 335,000 Americans die of lung cancer, which is a direct result of air pollution

And we are not talking CO2 pollution here, just all the other nasties that get pumped into our atmosphere for us to breath.

The Fuel Film… Educational, Informative and surprisingly entertaining

The Big question from sceptics is: … That crops for bio-fuel takes away the ability of the world to feed it’s growing population, this is answered in a couple of ways in the film.

One solution of several is in using marginal land, another is algae
For those that don’t know: Marginal land is land that is difficult to cultivate and is not being used for food crops. This land could be used to grow biomass crops to be used for bio-fuels. California has apparently 1 million acres of marginal land that could generate 5 billion gallons of bio-fuels per year.

Now, while not 100% convinced that it is possible to ‘grow’ all our fuel requirements, it nice to know that there are alternative possibilities and people willing to fight to get them heard.

All it needs now is the desire from Government and vested interests to make it happen… Having said all that what is happening in the Gulf is a wake-up call for the world….

But is anybody listening? Because as sure as death and taxes we are not going to give up our love affair with the car easily

For more information click here

Photo courtesy: U.S. Department of Energy. Pretty, isn’t it? …. In case you’re wondering it’s Bio-fuel Algae

Kenaf – A 21st century crop

Posted on 21. Mar, 2010 by admin in crop

Kenaf, should be the fibre crop of the 21st century, and hopefully explode into the market place for industrial products made from sustainable natural materials. Several multinational companies already use kenaf fibre in small, but growing quantities, in newly-marketed green products such as the Toyota Lexus and NEC mobile phones to replace environmentally-damaging materials.

Crucially, the green tag attached to kenaf is gaining more importance as people, companies and governments realize that the kenaf crop removes substantial amounts of CO2 and NO2 from the atmosphere and three to five times faster than forests with its deep roots improving the soil. Trees take many years to reach a harvestable size, however kenaf grown as an annual crop will reach a mature size in just 120 to 150 days after the seeds are sown, producing the largest biomass of any agricultural crop – far more than trees.

It can clean the environment efficiently and in some Japanese cities, kenaf is planted by the Government to improve the air quality. Kenaf will also greatly reduce our reliance on wood pulp and petroleum-based products. From construction board and concrete to plastic composites for mobile phones, from paper and light-weight, high-strength surfaces in aircraft to non woven industrial fabrics, from newspaper to absorbents for the oil industry. Commerce is waiting for the sustainable kenaf fibre in large quantities.

The kenaf plant is composed of multiple useful components (e.g. stalks, leaves, and seeds) and within each of these plant components there are various usable portions (e.g. fibres and fibre strands, proteins, oils, and allelopathic chemicals). What can’t be harvested can be used as Biomass fuel and fertilizer

Exciting New Technologies

In the past kenaf fibre production has been limited by the manual processing required to extract the fibres once the kenaf crop has been grown and harvested and the non-sustainable method of retting the fibres in rivers. New methods are now becoming available to process kenaf in volume providing a distinct advantage over existing processes, taking them to a new economical viability.

Green Planets and our partners intention is not to compete with other existing kenaf producers or processors, but to enlarge the industry and provide new opportunities for kenaf fibres. In most of the countries chosen, there are existing kenaf customers, we aim to enhance those relationships and the export routes for kenaf to developed nations. While at the same time create locally-owned hubs of agricultural excellence, kenaf business and community social support for the growers.

To find out more and how you can assist us, please contact us at     www.kenaf@greenplanet.com

Kenaf is a crop of importance – to a world in need of it

Barack Obama’s Remarks in Selma – American History


This speech …

the First Family traveled to Selma, Alabama to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic marches from Selma to Montgomery. Those marchers in March of 1965 wanted to ensure that all African Americans could exercise their constitutional right to vote — even in the face of a segregationist system that wanted to make it impossible.

As President Obama explained in his remarks this weekend, the lesson of Selma isn’t an outlier of the American experience:

[Selma] is instead the manifestation of a creed written into our founding documents: “We the People … in order to form a more perfect union.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

If you missed the President’s powerful speech, watch it here — and pass it on.

Watch the President's remarks in Selma.