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and Rome but ended his days in Amboise, France, under the protection of King Francis I. He had tried to work in Rome but the pope had little time for an artist with such a reputation for slowness and unfinished work.


Michelangelo (1475–1564)


Michelangelo Buonarroti made his name in Florence when he was only 17 years old. As a young sculptor, he benefitted greatly from the patronage of Lorenzo the Magnificent and lived in the Palazzo Medici for a while. He moved between Rome and Florence during his long career, working on many architectural, painting and sculptural projects.


Style


Michelangelo had a personal vision and had the freedom to express it in his art. He also had a keen eye for light and shadow and understood its role in creating volume and shape, both in sculpture and painting.


Fig. 22.10 The Virgin and Child with St Anne, c. 1510, by Leonardo da Vinci, oil on wood, Louvre, Paris


Composition


The figures are tightly grouped together in a pyramidal composition. Grouping of figures was an important development and Leonardo’s experiments greatly inspired later artists.


Painterly effects


Sfumato has softened the expressions and enveloped the figures and landscape in a strange bluish haze. This contributes to the mystical atmosphere but also unites the composition.


Later life


Leonardo had to leave Milan when the French invaded in 1499. He wandered between Florence


264 APPRECIATING ART: SECTION 2, PART 3 The human figure


He believed that all beauty could be seen in the human body and he became an expert in its portrayal. He studied drawing from life and made hundreds of sketches. He studied anatomy and obtained special permission from the Catholic Church to work with human corpses.


Difficult poses were a challenge for the artist and his figures are often twisted and curved. He was not afraid to bend the rules of realistic anatomy and proportion to increase the power of expression.


Working methods


Despite difficulties and frustrations, Michelangelo worked with patrons because they had the money


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