Arts and culture is the notions that make people intelligent and well brought-up. There are a lot of people of art who became perpetuate in the history of the art. Most of them passed away many centuries ago but we still keep appreciate and admire their works. A lot of art-goers dream about the possibility to get closer to their favorite artists and put them some questions about their personal attitude to their art and works of their contemporaries. This work is an attempt to take a deeper view on the creativity of two outstanding artists of Renaissance Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci by providing their possible attitude to the following questions: what they thought of each other’s work; which piece was their most favorite; what inspired them to become artists; and what trend they would pertain to in modern art.
Though both of the artists pertained to Italian Renaissance, their attitude to art was quite different. Leonardo da Vinci was also a prominent scientist and architect therefore the nature history played an essential part in the manner of his painting too. His works look perfectly thought out and every detail on his canvas is a manifestation of the rational reflecting of the nature and the world around. Michelangelo believed that: “nature is an enemy that had to be overcome. For Michelangelo, the job of the sculptor was to free the forms that were already inside the stone. He believed that every stone had a sculpture within it, and that the work of sculpting was simply a matter of chipping away all that was not a part of the statue”. (Saslow, 340) His works are much smother and vivid than those of Leonardo. Michelangelo’s sculptures astonishes by its dynamics of form and inner power. Thus, the artists were the antagonists during their life. If Michelangelo could judge about the works of Leonardo da Vinci he might regard them as to much natural, still containing the unnecessary rudiments of the stone they were made by. The exhaustive refinement of the portraits and sketches by Leonardo could simply annoy Michelangelo as he regarded the art originating from the emotions and inspiration of the author. Those abstract notions have nothing to do with rational disposition of things and world reflection by Leonardo Da Vinci. In his turn Leonardo could not accept regarding nature as an enemy which covers the pure work of art under the stone frame. He might find the works of Michelangelo much imperfect because of their lack of the details necessary for the objective reflection of the world. Another essential point that might cause a quarrel between the artists is the representation of nude bodies on the canvas. The point is that these two men had quite different lifestyle. Michelangelo is described as arrogant, abstemious and constantly dissatisfied with himself person, with untidy habits. “He often slept in his clothes and… boots.” These habits may have made him unpopular”. (Saslow, 268) This self-detachment finally resulted in the exhaustive representation of nude figures on his canvas. Leonardo da Vinci was another type of person who appreciated the friendship and women attention to his personality. Despite the fact, that this genuine artist was popular at his life, he always kept in private his personal relations. Thus, denude men and women on Michelangelo’s canvas could simply embarrass him and put in awkward position. The difference in the artists’ personal lifestyle also generated a distinction in the way of representing the world in art.
Both of the authors are known by a great raw of outstanding world-famous works. All of the works are recognized masterpieces, but there is still a question which of them was the most favorite for their creators. Taking into account the Michelangelo’s position about the piece of art covered by the nature in the stone it is possible to admit that his Statue of David could be the most precious work for the artist. This gigantic statue is the manifestation of the biggest attempt to release art from the natural stone cage. “This masterwork, created out of a marble block definitively established his prominence as a sculptor of extraordinary technical skill and strength of symbolic imagination”. (Sporre, 159) The author’s craftsmanship reached its pick at this work. This fact enables to make a conclusion that the artist worked with maximum devotion and inspiration that made this statue so much prominent.
Leonardo da Vinci, known as a thoroughly developed person, could hardly create using just one of his multiple talents. Each of his work demonstrates his thoughts in literature, engineering, painting, sculpturing, science etc. Thus, his most favorite work could be the one that comprises the manifestation of all of his talents. It is possible to suppose that The Last Supper is the canvas which was the most labor-intensive work of the author. “Working on this picture Leonardo demonstrated the best knowledge in sphere of religion, history, body constitution, geometry and a pure gift for painting. Besides, as a truly genius, the artist tried to transmit veiled message to the spectators”(Bortolon, 431). Many scholars nowadays regard this picture as the artist’s attempt to tell the true story of Jesus and The Virgin Mary life. Thus, taking into account the geniality and peculiarities of Leonardo da Vinci’s character it is possible to assume that The Last Supper is the author’s most appreciated work.
Each of the authors walked a long way to the public recognizing. But it is always interesting to know why such people became the artists. Let’s imagine their possible answers. Michelangelo was growing up Florence, the city which was regarded as Italian cultural capital. The most outstanding artists were residents or frequent guests in this city. The fact, that: “Michelangelo lived with a stonecutter and his wife and family in the town of Settignano, where his father owned a marble quarry and a small farm”( Saslow, 356) can be an explanation how thy young sculpture gained his philosophy of the sculpture imprisoned in the stone. Thus, the early life of Michelangelo put a start of his progressing in the art.
From the early age Leonardo da Vinci did not show any instances of his geniality, he got good education in Latin, math and geometry. The realization of his talent to painting came in the age of fourteen, when Leonardo made so successful image of the young angel on Verrocchio’s Baptism of Chris that the master promised not to paint anymore. This was the first manifestation of the voicing of young Leonardo. His further development was properly directed by his patrons who demanded the plans of new bridges, castles and even war machines from young genius.
Both of the personalities are the most outstanding artists for the whole history. Nowadays, there is a thought that we have no genius of art. But what would happen if Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo lived in our time, what trends and styles of the modern they would pertain to? Michelangelo was promoting an importance of the impressions and emotions of the author for the proper reflecting of the art. This position is very close to impressionism. Thus, Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet would have one more deserving competitor.
Leonardo da Vinci would appreciate the nowadays abundance of different technical and electronic devices. Thus, he could do his best in a new trend of modern art like installations. Those works presupposes wide use of different technical devices from various branches of science to present and reflect modern world. Leonardo could find a wide application for his many-sided talent working in this style and creating really outstanding installations.
Nevertheless, despite their difference in attitude to the art, various ways of lifestyle and self-actualization, these two artist are true geniuses who were the most valuable representatives of their epoch and would be able to change and greatly upgrade modern art as well.
Bortolon, Liana. The Life and Times of Leonardo. London: Paul Hamlyn, 1967.
Saslow, James M. The Poetry of Michelangelo: An Annotated Translation. London: Yale University Press, 1991.
Sporre, Dennis J. Reality Through The Arts. New York: Study Books. 2003.