Renaissance Art History
November 6, 2007
My name is Bartolommeo Adalfieri, and I am the luckiest man in all of Christendom. I have lived a long life, through plague and hard times, and had my share of life, love, and the happiness of God. But in all my long years as a painter in the beautiful city of Rome, nothing was more wonderful than the time I spent apprenticed to the two great masters, Michelangelo and Raphael. And what great teachers they were! I learned so much from their amazing and evolutionary styles, their beautiful use of movement.
One of the projects I remember the best with Michelangelo was his work on the tomb of Julius II. Old Saint Peter’s was such a beautiful place to honor such a holy man, who was so devoted to the arts. What his patronage did for our era! But his tomb was such a wonderful place to work, full of symbolism and religious meaning. It struck and chord deep in my heart to see the classicism of the old empire merged with the holiness of our own. The most stunning of all statues on the tomb, and the one I worked on the most was that of Moses. I can remember the day we finished it in 1515, two years after the actually passing of our beloved pope. The muscular figure gives off a sense of anger at the Hebrews as he descends from the mountain and sees them defying the very commandments he holds in his hands. The movement and tension of the piece are apparent in almost every single part of the figure. You see his muscles bunching under his skin, and the slight swivel of his body, as if he were about to spring up from his seat and smite the Hebrews where they worship the false god! The way Michelangelo was able to blend both emotion and action in one fell swoop simply takes my breath away, as does the classic aura about the figure of Moses. He looks not only like an old testament figure, but like a strong Roman sentinel about to do battle against the evil forming among his people.
But truly the most amazing project I ever have...