Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Sistine Ceiling - A Study of the Human Condition

The world knows the Sistine Ceiling and the unparalleled beauty and power of this massive work.
What is generally not known is the pettiness and small- mindedness of other artists who assailed Michelangelo.
I was thinking of this aspect of the times surrounding the Pope's contract being given to Michelangelo, and some of the reactions thereafter.
No less than Raphael, the youngest of the great trio representing this period, and Bramante, the distinguished papal architect were the chief antagonists.
Both publicly were deriders of Michelangelo, and sniffed at the fact that he was an architect primarily; not a painter, and yet he was chosen to paint this project. Bramante was a bit more strident in his condemnation of Michelangelo as the choice. Finally, at one time during this altercation among great artists, Michelangelo declared that Raphael had "learned all he knows from me."
The churlish and childish expressions of these lofty entities struck me the other day as I was thinking of this period, which served to remind me that, after all, we are all of us human beings; no more.
No different than N. Rubinstein excoriating Tchaikowsky for the trash emanating from his new piano concerto.
And so it goes...

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