Michelangelo and Da Vinci: A Short Review of Two of Their Greatest Works

Michelangelo and Da Vinci where artistic innovators; through there usage of powerful imagery, vivid colors and their
unconventional ways of creating depth and volume in their works they stationed them selves as two of the worlds great artistic giants.

Although there works very different they still shared some very similar commonalties for instance both artist gained a lot of there inspiration from passages in the bible. Also both artist where extremely tortured and highly underrated during there era and both men have gone on to live forever through there timeless and awe inspiring works of art. With that being said I would like to speak about two very distinct pieces done by these men.

The First piece is by Michelangelo this piece can be found on the vault of the Papal Chapel. The images on this vault are a collection of nine very prominent stories from the book of genesis in the Bible. Which is basically the story of the creation of the Earth, Adam and Eve and there impending exile from the Garden of Eden.

This particular piece is symbolic of the creation of earth and man according to the Christian religion. Michelangelo himself used vivid colors and chiaroscuro (the modeling of volume by depicting light and shade by contrasting them boldly. To create an image that totally overwhelms the viewer’s eye. Each image on the wall of Papal is done on a grand scale so that the image can be seen clearly from the floor. Michelangelo clearly demonstrated his keen eye for the human form through the precise movements he created in his images.

Michelangelo not only mastered the art of movement in his paintings he also mastered the use of color and lines to grasp the viewers attention. You can not help but look at the vault once you enter the chapel without your eyes automatically being drawn to the dazzling image up above. This piece is truly one of Michelangelo’s greatest works and will remain a testament to the tireless effort and dedication of true artists.

The Second Piece I would like to discuss is by Da Vinci this piece is called Virgin of the Rocks. This painting depicts two women and presumably, two small children or cherubs’ sitting in what appears to be a stone cavern or cave.

Da Vinci uses sfumato in this painting to create a perception of depth in the mountains behind the virgins’. Sfumato is the use of several translucent layers to create a feeling of depth or distance. Da Vinci also incorporated a very advance use of light and dark colors to simulate the darkness and dampness of there surroundings, the image itself does not create dark feelings however it does create a sense of mystery.

The viewer can not help but ask themselves why are they in such a dark place, Are they hiding or are they simply looking for a cool place to sit out of the sun? There faces to not appear fearful however they do not appear happy either. The image creates many questions which is what makes it so interesting. Da Vinci uses very dull colors such as the dull oranges and greens to also add to the depth and darkness of the paintings.

This piece is a truly a successful piece of are because although the women and the children/cherubs are the main focus the viewers eye is not just drawn to them, you are forced to take in everything in the painting a feet that not everyone that calls themselves an artist can do. Da Vinci truly mastered this art and clearly understood the importance of depth and composition

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