History of Art #6 – Michelangelo

Next up in our History of Art summer project was Michelangelo, archetypal renaissance artist.  We concentrated on his sculpture – especially David and the Pieta – and his Sistine Chapel frescoes.  We discussed the way in which Michelangelo was able to capture the musculature of his subjects in his sculptures, the weight of the poses, the sense of motion.  We all tried out the contrapposto pose of David in order to understand the stance being depicted and what it might convey.  We also discussed the physical stamina and endurance required to paint the Sistine Chapel and studied the complex poses of all the figures illustrated there.

When it came time to work on art work inspired by our study of Michelangelo, the two youngest Pictlings decided they wanted to work on their own version of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  Since painting on our ceiling or even our walls was out of the question, I tacked some paper to the underside of a folding table in our study.  They then sat under there and drew.  They discovered that it is really rather quite difficult and uncomfortable to draw in that position which gave them some understanding of what Michelangelo must have gone through to complete his frescoes.

6 Michelangelo - Ceiling Drawing

The rest of us took our inspiration from the colossal statue of David.  No surprises that my oldest decided to Minecraftify the subject.  He took the Bible story of David and Goliath and squeezed it through the lens of Minecraft.

6 Michelangelo - David and Goliath - AB

My 9 year old, for some reason, was taken with the idea that people have to clean the gigantic figure of David.  He, therefore, dashed off a quick drawing of a janitor sweeping around the statue.  It has not gone unnoticed that he is investing minimal time and effort in his responses to this project but I can’t fault him for taking a different angle on things.

6 Michelangelo - David in the Museum - O

I had intended to produce an ink sketch of the whole David, to make an attempt on that contrapposto pose.  However, I was both out of time and far too distracted to accomplish that type of drawing so I focused instead on just the head.

6 Michelangelo - David - Laura

To see my Crazy Bunny version of Michelangelo’s David, hop over to my art blog and have a squizz.


16 thoughts on “History of Art #6 – Michelangelo

  1. Pingback: 100 Crazy Critters – #83 – Bunny David | Pict Ink

  2. An inspired idea to tack the paper beneath the table!

    I remember the ache in my neck and back from gazing upwards at that ceiling – and wondering how on earth he found the stamina and endurance to complete the work!

    • I cannot even imagine. My arms ache when I have them above my head for any period of time, such as when decorating a room. I cannot imagine the degree of discomfort involved in painting all of that detail with such precision.

  3. Agree on what a great exercise it was to have them draw under the table..very creative approach. I had the pleasure of seeing the Pieta at the NY World’s Fair in the 1960’s. ❤️

  4. Really loving reading about this art project with your kids Laura, such a great idea to draw under the table. My son is feeling very inspired by your eldest’s Minecraft take on things too – he normally takes the minimal effort approach when it comes to art himself!!

  5. The youngest reminded me when I was reviewing my boards way back. We have a double decker bed and I was the one under so I had review materials taped under my sisters bed and add notes. My position was exactly like what the kids did.

    These are projects are entertaining me so much. I look forward to see what the kids create and how they interpret the day’s art lesson. Great job kiddos!

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