"Columns, after Michelangelo"
8 x 6, oil pastels on pastel paper
It is easy to see how Michelangelo would have served as an inspiration to the artists of his day. Art scholar Charles de Tolnay elaborates; "Each artist drew his inspiration from a single aspect of the master's art, transforming it and integrating it within the scope of his own tendencies "(such as carriage, drama, dignity of gestures ). Most artists wanted to expand beyond the classical view of an ideal world and incorporate their own visions into the work as Michelangelo had done with the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Never before had a painting been done that depicted God in the way the artist had boldly portrayed him. Suddenly Michelangelo's contemporaries began stepping out of their own comfort zones, changed the proportions of their figures, and began using different backgrounds or employing figurative elements into their work. Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael among others, had previously embraced the principal that beauty is nature, while Michelangelo's focus became expressing his inward image of beauty that he "made more concrete by a profound study of the natural world" as he sketched and drew from live models. Tolnay further explains that the Master's incorporation of the ignudi in the Sistine celling was a new concept of "movement, and design"; and because they served as "a rhythmic outline freely arranged in space and no longer tied to earth" . This bold new concept "encouraged an entire group of young artists to liberate themselves from the classical Renaissance canons" And the use of opaque, fresh colors Michelangelo had incorporated into the ceiling figures; along with a new emphasis on grandeur ushered in a new art age known as "Mannerism". A few years later, sculptor, architect, and founder of the Baroque Age, Gian Bernini would exclaim "Michelangelo was great as a sculptor and painter, but truly divine as an architect"