It was the 10th of May, 1508, that looked upon the genesis of the Cappella Sistina vault frescoes.
It was the 13th of September, 1501, that witnessed the start of the birth of the David.
It was the 26th of August, 1498, that beheld the beginning of the creation of the Pietà.
It was the 6th of March, 1475, that saw the birth of a child that would grow up to become one of the grandest artists of all time.
The artist, who would change the course of Art and whose name would become the synonym of High Renaissance:
Michelangelo created his masterpieces with the fierce, internal struggle of the agonizing realization that Man has limited capabilities.
His own works reflect that struggle, that conflict themselves:
Michelangelo praises the Ideal physical beauty of the human body, and yet, he is sorry such beauty is doomed to perish.
The realisation of the limits imposed on Man by Time pains him deeply. He never reconciled himself with them.
It is this pain of his for the limited capabilities of Man that was the root of the intensity that characterises his works.
In Michelangelo's eyes, it is the spirit that struggles to reach or regain its former state, to reach the Ideal.
This is the urge that fuelled his idea of releasing the living figures from the stone.
I cannot help feeling that stone represented the earthly prison for him, and his sculptures represented the human spirit in need of release.
That in releasing the figure from the stone, perhaps, he felt that he had the ability to free the human being from its material restraint, although he knew this was an illusion.
His own temperament, his entire inner world reflect this conflict: gifted, sensitive, tense, full of creative frenzy, vigorous, philosophical, poetic, versatile, overwhelming, deeply emotional.
Tremendously optimistic and yet melancholic. Gentle and yet suspicious. Friendly and demanding. Distant and cordial. Confident and timid. Quick-tempered and patient. Withdrawn and generous. Affectionate and private.
The contrast of his personality was even reflected in his physical appearance. With his horn-coloured eyes, speckled with bluish yellow stains and his black hair and beard, it seems that, even Nature, conforming to the Creator's will, depicted the fierce intensity of his character in his physical features.
When I first saw his works, I felt as if I were hit by an electric current.
Perhaps, this is the word that best summarises all his work: Electric.
His works are so alive that they act to cause reaction. Response.
His works seize. Dominate. Enslave. Command. Effortlessly. Timelessly.
In the end, he did manage what he longed for. To break the limits of Time, by leaving behind him imperishable works of art.
It was the Divine Michelangelo who did not merely seek to depict the Ideal.
It was the Divine Michelangelo who belonged to the Ideal.
Il Divino Michelangelo.
- Melpomeni -