Why Michelangelo Disliked Leonardo da Vinci | The Best Artists
In her stunning novel Oil and Marble, Stephanie Storey imagines the history behind their tumultuous relationship. Michelangelo is a novice in. The personal life of Leonardo da Vinci (15 April – 2 May ) has been a subject of . Some evidence of Leonardo's personal relationships emerges both from historic records and . His relationship with Michelangelo (23 years his junior) was always tense and ambivalent, as the two had such contrasting characters. to understand their relationship. It is important to note that Leonardo was about twenty-three years older than Michelangelo, and was already.
Their fierce independence led to clashes whenever circumstances, such as simultaneous commissions for cartoons of the Palazzo Vecchio, brought them face-to-face. From Donatello and Verrocchio, Da Vinci had developed his sfumato style, best defined as "blending light and shadow without trait or sign, like smoke" and best witnessed in the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum of Paris.
It obtains hazy contours and dark colours, opposite to Michelangelo's technique seen in his Doni Tondo a. The Holy Family at the Uffizi in Florence.
Da Vinci spent years under Verrocchio while Michelangelo had lasted just one at the Ghirlandaio workshop before studying under Bertoldo: Michelangelo saw himself primarily as a man who worked stone.
For Da Vinci, the essential concern was the long quest for truth while Michelangelo was dogged all his life by the meaning of art itself. Both had dissected cadavers to learn anatomy but for different reasons: Da Vinci was out to render the truth of a gesture in order to better represent action and emotion while Michelangelo simply had a hardwired interest in crafting nudes - Da Vinci never painted nudes.
Was Michelangelo a better artist than Leonardo da Vinci?
Michelangelo's David standing in contrapposto is the direct result of his anatomical studies. In short, anatomy affected the two greats very differently. These two rivals both also had a penchant for non finito, the abandonment artworks in progress.
- And the winner is ...
- Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci
Da Vinci would regularly abandon canvasses while Michelangelo would leave off sculptures. What is certain is that Leonardo and Michelangelo both had new hope for their city.
They had been working far from Florence, in Milan, in Rome. Michelangelo created the Republic's most seductive work of political art, a powerful symbol of manly, energetic, watchful, clear-eyed heroism: David, hero of the weak against the strong, of Florence against tyrannical powers.
The city of Florence had every reason to expect that Leonardo and Michelangelo, as aware as everyone else of the vulnerability and preciousness of the city's freedom, would create patriotic masterpieces, and that rivalry would spur them on. It spurred them all right - but in odd, hermetic,and pessimistic directions.
The images of war they created were not bright and celebratory pageants of chivalry, but enigmatic, disturbing. Preliminary drawings survive of men and horses by Leonardo; there is a copy, attributed to Rubens, taken from an earlier copy, of the central scene of his painting, known as The Battle of the Standard.
Even from these fragments, we can see why contemporaries regarded the Battles of Anghiari and Cascina as the key works of their time - and why they have haunted the representation of war ever since. Leonardo and Michelangelo, for all their different ages, different styles - Leonardo soft, shadowy, ambiguous; Michelangelo sublimely decisive - and their enmity, had one thing in common. Neither liked to finish anything.
By the time Leonardo was commissioned to paint the Council Hall, everyone knew this about him; what no one knew was that Michelangelo - who had been prodigious - was to become dilatory and difficult. In fact, Michelangelo's abortive work on The Battle of Cascina marks the beginning of the pattern of non-completion that was to mark his life. You might even speculate that he learned this from Leonardo.
Leonardo, on this occasion, got a lot further than Michelangelo. He took a long time to finish his cartoon and we know, from sketches of men and horses that survive, how passionately he engaged with it; the horses as tense and confrontational as the men, the men as bestial as the animals - warriors have their mouths snarlingly open, as if they want to bite flesh.
Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo made a unique machine, a wooden elevator, so he could move up and down the wall in comfort. But, as with the Last Supper, technical ingenuity got the better of him. Leonardo used a method - apparently based on a recipe in the ancient Roman writer Pliny the Elder - to enable him to paint the wall in oils. The mixture didn't work - he may have been cheated on materials; the upper part dried dark and the lower parts disintegrated.
Michelangelo never got past the drawing stage.Leonardo da Vinci was gay
But what a drawing, everyone agreed. He took over a room in the Hospital of the Dyers in Florence, and drew a full-sized cartoon in superb detail.
Personal life of Leonardo da Vinci
Everything about it was startling. Leonardo depicted the very heart of battle, an agonising, horrific entanglement of human and animal bodies, but Michelangelo drew war's margins, a moment of bizarre ordinariness, when Florentine soldiers, bathing naked in the Arno, hear the enemy coming and rush to get out of the water and put on armour.
Michelangelo's painting never reached the wall, but Leonardo's did. It's a mystery why it was painted over inby that same Vasari who wrote Leonardo's life. It was a Leonardo, which meant as much then as now. Vasari reported in that the Last Supper had deteriorated to "a muddle of blots", but it has been preserved and worshipped ever since in its ruinous state. There is more going on than meets the eye in the Salone dei Quinquecento.
Machiavelli retired to write his bleak political theory. The sense that Michelangelo was a Republican, despite all he owed the Medici and the Pope as patrons, is strengthened by the way that he again returned to Florence when the Medici were chucked out and the Republic restored one more time in Michelangelo built defences for this last Florentine Republic; his defences failed, the city fell, the Medici came back in Michelangelo was forgiven because of his fame.
Afterrepublicanism was finished in Florence, which became a conservative, princely city, whose art would never again be at the forefront of Europe. The Palazzo Vecchio became a Medici palace. When Vasari was commissioned to redecorate the Council Hall, he was suppressing the past, effacing signs of the Republic, of the people.
Those signs included Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari. Today you can walk around Florence seeing ghostly images of the two lost masterpieces.