Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Finding Michelangelo

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1654)
Madonna of the Stairs
Created:  1491
Dimensions:  22.3 in x 15.8 in
Current Location: Casa Buonarroti - Florence, Italy
Visited: September 2005

After our initial visit to Italy in 2004 I became somewhat obsessed with all things Michelangelo. This led to another trip to Italy in September 2005 and on this trip I was determine to see nearly every Michelangelo work of art that was in Italy. Over the next few weeks I will try to write a blog entry for every Michelango work of art that we visited in the chronological order of their creation.  Keep in mind that I have no formal art training, so consider my opinions as someone who is basically viewing these works as a tourist.

Madonna of the Stairs  is now accepted as Michelangelo's earliest surviving piece and was sculpted when he was around 15 years old. The scene depicts Mary and Child in front of stairs.  The muscular definition of the Child's arm will become on of Michelangelo's signature styles in sculpture and painting. 

Madonna of the Stairs is located at Casa Buonarroti which was Michelangelo's house in Florence. Now a museum, it houses many of his early works. I was surprised by how small the sculpture is in person. In my head and after seeing pictures before our visit, I had imagined it being larger. Nevertheless, it is still fascinating to stand in front of what is considered the first work of the greatest sculptor (and artist) in history.

Casa Buonarroti itself is a very interesting little museum and I highly recommend taking the time to visit it in Florence. It is not as well known as some of the other main attractions and is small, but because of the size I found it more accessible than some of the larger museums in Florence.  

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