4 Wonderful Sculptures of Michelangelo

An Italian sculptor, painter, poet, and architect of the High Renaissance, Michelangelo was born in the Republic of Florence. It was a medieval and early modern state centred on Florence, an Italian city. Many scholars consider him as one of the greatest artists of all time. He had a tremendous influence on Western art and created the most famous works of sculpture and painting. 

Based on the surviving sketches, correspondence, and reminiscences, his works seem prodigious. He is also among the best-documented artists who lived in the 16th century. Here are some of his famous sculptures:

1. David

This is undoubtedly one of the most famous sculptures in the world. Michelangelo sculpted this masterpiece over the course of three years. He began working on it when he was just 26 years of age. Interestingly, many of the earlier depictions of this Biblical hero show his triumphant side. 

Michelangelo was the first sculptor to portray David in an alert, tense position before his legendary fight with Goliath. This sculpture was originally positioned in 1504 at the Piazza Della Signoria in Florence. It was then moved to Galleria dell’Accademia in 1873. Today, it is displayed in this art museum under a specially-designed skylight.

2. Pieta

Alongside his famous work, David, this 15th-century sculpture is considered one of Michelangelo’s greatest works. It was created originally for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilheres’s funeral tomb. This sculpture shows Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ’s body after his crucifixion. It was a common theme in Renaissance-era Italy’s funeral monuments. 

During the 18th century, the sculpture was moved to St. Peter’s Basilica. Over the years, this great work of sculpture has suffered considerable damage. A significant part of it occurred in 1972. A mentally disturbed Australian geologist called Lazlo Toth attacked the sculpture with a hammer. He removed the arm of the Virgin Mary at the elbow. Then he knocked off a part of her nose and chipped one of her eyelids.

3. Madonna of Bruges

It was the only Michelangelo sculpture taken out of Italy during the lifetime of this great sculptor. The sculpture was donated to its current home, which is Bruges’ Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk. It was bought in 1504 by the Mouscrons, a wealthy cloth merchant family residing in Bruges. 

The sculpture has been removed from the church on two occasions. It was removed during the French Revolutionary Wars and returned in 1815. The Nazi soldiers looted it during the Second World War. This episode has been shown in The Monuments Men, a film released in 2014.

4. Bacchus

It is the first large-scale sculpture of this renowned sculptor. Bacchus is among the few works of Michelangelo that focused on a pagan rather than a Christian subject. It shows the Roman god of wine in an awkward posture after getting intoxicated with the drink. 

Cardinal Raffaele Riario had originally commissioned this statue but was rejected by Michelangelo. In the early 16th century, it was housed in the garden of banker Jacopo Galli’s residence. It has resided at Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence since 1871. Today, it is displayed alongside the master sculptor’s other works.

4 Wonderful Sculptures of Michelangelo

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