Monday, April 28, 2008

Finding the differences between the Renaissance masters: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael

David by Michelangelo
Originally uploaded by cgc0202
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 –1564), commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer.

Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and the David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Later in life he designed the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in the same city.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (1452 – 1519) was an Italian polymath; a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. Born at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio.

It is primarily as a painter that Leonardo was and is renowned. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper occupy unique positions as the most famous portrait and religious painting of all time. As an engineer, Leonardo conceived ideas vastly ahead of his own time, conceptualising a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull, and outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics.

Donatello was a famous early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence. He is, in part, known for his work in basso rilievo, a form of shallow relief sculpture that, in Donatello's case, incorporated significant 15th-century developments in perspectival illusionism.

Around 1430, Cosimo de' Medici, the foremost art patron of his era, commissioned from Donatello the bronze David for the court of his Palazzo Medici. This is now Donatello's most famous work. At the time of its creation, it was the first known free-standing nude statue produced since ancient times.

Raphael Sanzio, usually known by his first name alone ( 1483 – 1520) was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.

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