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Magnificent Minds Of The Renaissance

The high renaissance of the 1500’s was a time of scientific, philosophic, and artistic awe and inspiration. Many new discoveries were being made in the field of science, and philosophers expressed their assumptions on the world and universe around them. In addition, many individuals were gifted with artistic dexterity and skill. The amazing achievements of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci are considered significant to the Renaissance period. In this paper, the endeavors and achievements of these three Renaissance men will be examined and expressed.

Born in 1475 in Italy, Michelangelo was raised in an era of artistic wonder. Not only an artist, but Michelangelo was also a poet, sculptor, and architect. Being gifted in these fields, Michelangelo wrote beautiful poetry and created magnificent sculptures, art, and architectural designs. By the time Michelangelo was sixteen, he produced two sculptures entitled Battle of the Centaurs and The Madonna of the Stairs, and in 1501, Michelangelo began working on his masterpiece “David.” The marble statue of David astonished sculptors everywhere, and easily became Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture. Michelangelo’s painting talent was not so much applied in his canvas paintings, but rather in his gigantic frescoes. Some of his fresco works include The Last Judgment which is a large fresco behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel, and The Creation of Adam which decorates practically the entire ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo’s achievement as an architect was mainly his work at Saint Peter’s Basilica, when in 1546 he became chief architect and constructed the altar at the end of the Basilica and the cupola atop its roof. At the old age of 89, Michelangelo died. Another magnificent artist, who was inspired by Michelangelo, was Raphael.

On April 6, 1483, in the town of Urbino Italy, the greatest and most popular artist of all time would be born, and he would be given the name of Raphael. In Raphael’s early years, he became inspired by his father, the painter Giovanni Santi, and began painting at an early age. At the age of 22, and in search of new painting techniques, Raphael began studying some of the famous artists of his day such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. After years of studying, and observing Leonardo and Michelangelo’s art, Raphael developed his own techniques for lighting and shading and produced a new informal manner of painting. During the premature developments of these new techniques, Raphael tested his skill by painting various “Madonna” paintings such as Madonna of the Goldfinch and Madonna del Baldacchino. Once these techniques were perfected around 1508, Raphael was sent to Rome to decorate four rooms of the Vatican Palace with scenic frescoes. These four rooms contain some of Raphael’s finest work, such as the magnificent fresco The School of Athens which depicts an open building scene in which Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient philosophers are in deep contemplation and conversation. In addition to Raphael’s Vatican Palace “project,” he was also appointed to many other activities in Rome such as his work at Saint Peter’s Basilica and his participation in decorating the Chigi Chapel. Raphael died in Rome on his 37th birthday, April 6, 1520. And even now, Raphael is remembered as one of the greatest artists of all time. A third man living during the High Renaissance was the spectacular thinker, Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo da Vinci was a man of epic proportions. Born in 1452 in the small town of Vinci, Italy, Leonardo grew up during the time of the sprouting of the High Renaissance Era. In the minds of the experts, Leonardo was thought as the perfect “Renaissance Man” because he was a sculptor, painter, architect, scientist, and engineer. During his lifetime, Leonardo sculpted various bronze and marble pieces, and painted many canvas paintings, most of which were lost forever. However, some canvas paintings such as the Virgin of the Rocks and the very famous portrait, the Mona Lisa were recovered. Leonardo also painted various frescoes such as the breathtaking Last Supper located in the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. As a scientist, architect, and engineer, Leonardo amazed people everywhere with his amazing scientific breakthroughs and his spectacular inventions. As a scientist, Leonardo became immensely interested in anatomy and made discoveries about human bone structure, the circulatory system, and the functions of the heart and brain. As an architect and engineer, Leonardo designed many inventions such as the Ornithopter which was a primitive flying machine, and he created many weapons of war such as the War Scythe and the Crossbow Machine. Leonardo also made schematics of a machine that would dig canals. When Leonardo died in 1519, he left behind a legacy. This legacy would be remembered for all time.

This paper examined the amazing efforts and unfathomable achievements of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. Michelangelo created heaven on earth in the Sistine Chapel, Raphael brought back ancient philosophers into the Vatican Palace, and Leonardo impressed the world with his brilliant ideas. During their incredible lifetimes, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raphael Santi, and Leonardo da Vinci accomplished a dream that the world thought impossible to conquer.
Category: History