Friday, 21 March 2014

Art Inspiration: Great Italian Artists part 1 - Tuscany!

Italian art is the number one motivation for our  painting holidays in Italy. Today, we are delighted to introduce a new series of articles to our blog about great Italian artists inspired from each of our favourite regions. Let’s start exploring Italian art in Tuscany with one of the greatest and most famous artists, Michelangelo Buonarroti.

 The first thing that will probably shock you about Michelangelo is his date of birth and death: 6 March 147518 February 1564, basically he lived for almost 89 years, quite a lot for a 16th century man. Michelangelo was born in Caprese, near the current Arezzo (in Tuscany). Another surprising fact about this multi – tasking man is that he became famous while he was alive, this is not very usual for artists of any period. Michelangelo is famous around the world for his work: he was a sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer.

Michelangelo’s importance is due mostly to his significant contribution to the High Renaissance in Italy; you may already know that the Italian Renaissance was the earliest manifestation of the general European Renaissance. In other words, all the other European Renaissance artists were inspired by the Italian ones, and so by Michelangelo. Few artists have left such a long-lasting mark on the history of art as the great Michelangelo Buonarroti.
So, imagine that you have just landed in Tuscany and you’re going to spend a fantastic holiday there. Why don’t you see some of his wonderful works?
We can suggest some of them for you…,_centauromachia,_1492_ca._01.JPG

First stop:
Buonarroti house -  the family home of Michelangelo. Here you will find some of the very first works of the young Michelangelo, such as The Centaurs’ battle and Madonna of the Stairs . The first one is proof that he did great studies about classical statuary, while the second one is a clear homage to another great Italian artist, Donatello.,_sagrestia,_crocifisso_di_michelangelo_04.JPGSecond stop: Holy spirit Church (Chiesa del Santo Spirito) - Michelangelo had a very strong attachment to this place because it’s where he found shelter after the death of his protector, Lorenzo de Medici. In this church you will find the wooden Crucifix. Moreover, this church is a must see, one of the most beautiful of the Renaissance period. stop: Gallery of the Academy -  Here you will find the world famous statue of David (the original one). Because of the nature of the hero, the statue soon began to represent the defence of civil liberties embodied in the Florentine Republic, threatened on all sides by more powerful rival states and by the hegemony of the Medici family. Did you know that Michelangelo made this statue while he was very young (he was not thirty yet)? He said that "Every block of stone has a statue inside itself, the only task of the sculptor is to discover it". Of course he had the genius in his genes. stop: Uffizi museum - Here you will find Michelangelo’s first work, Tondo Doni, alias The Holy Family. This is the only finished painting of Michelangelo. Still in its original frame, the painting was probably commissioned by Agnolo Doni to commemorate his marriage to Maddalena Strozzi, the daughter of a powerful Tuscan family. The painting is in the form of a tondo, or round frame, which is frequently associated with domestic ideas during the Renaissance.

These are definitely not the only stops that you have to do in Tuscany to see Michelangelo’s works: we suggest that you also go to Palazzo Vecchio, San Lorenzo Basilica and Museo dell’ Opera del  Duomo to see other spectacular  Michelangelo artworks.

If you are tempted to visit these magnificent places and get some first hand art inspiration you can check our next painting holidays in Italy for more information.

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