Michelan­gelo buonar­roti 1475-1564

All About History - - PAINT AND SUFFERING -

cham­pi­oned as one of The Great­est artists To have ever lived, Michelan­gelo’s ex­quis­ite Mas­ter­pieces be­trayed The artist’s in­ner Tur­moil

When Michelan­gelo – then a sculp­tor who’d made his name on such works as David and Pi­età – was of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to paint in­side the Sis­tine Chapel, lit­tle did he re­alise he’d been set up by a ri­val. Con­vinced that this sculp­tor who’d never be­fore painted a fresco would fail, Bra­mante, bit­ter that Michelan­gelo had won work he be­lieved was right­fully his, al­legedly con­vinced Pope Julius

II to com­mis­sion him. But Bra­mante un­der­es­ti­mated his foe.

In­stead, Michelan­gelo con­vinced the Pope to give him free rein over dec­o­rat­ing the chapel’s ceil­ing.

De­spite learn­ing the new medium quickly, Michelan­gelo faced hur­dle af­ter hur­dle; he had to pick up the art of fresco paint­ing quickly.

Where sea­sons changed, mold grew on his work; and de­spite the sheer scale of the project, Michelan­gelo was de­ter­mined to work alone.

In the end paint­ing the Sis­tine Chapel proved al­most more than Michelan­gelo could bear. Tucked away in the Last

Judge­ment scene on the al­tar wall, Michelan­gelo ex­pressed his sick­ness of the project in the form of an ex­pres­sive self-por­trait – the hang­ing flesh clutched by a dis­dain­ful St Bartholomew close to the cen­tre of the scene.

Many his­to­ri­ans and re­searchers ques­tion whether the de­ter­mined Michelan­gelo suf­fered from OCD or even Asperger’s syn­drome.

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