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Michelangelo on Flemish Art and Rogier's St Luke Drawing the Virgin - Essay Example

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Michelangelo on Flemish Art and Rogier's St Luke Drawing the Virgin

One of the most interesting comments attributed to Michelangelo by Hollanda’s in Michelangelo on Flemish Painting is that Italian painting is not good because it is produced in Italy, but it is good painting that happens to be reproduced in Italy. He goes on to say that even if painters of other nations were to produce good painting, it would still be Italian painting because most of the good painting that is done comes from Italy. It is not the Italian nature of it, but the monopoly on good painting in Italy that defines it as good. The conclusion to this is the Flemish painting is not good, although it is a good effort. The tone seems to be a bit condescending to the Flemish artists and suggests that the devotion that can be seen in the Flemish art is laudable, but Italian art captures the true artistry that pleases and honors God.2 In looking at the painting St. Luke Drawing the Virgin by Rogier van der Weyden, it is clear that Michelangelo’s perspective is both arrogant and inaccurate. ...
Luke, but also to separate him from the other painters of his region as the first truly Christian painter.3 The details of the work are rendered with perfection with the folds of the fabric lying heavy and the perspective of the space precise. The same kind of attention to detail can be seen his Weyden’s work Devotion. Apostolos-Cappadona writes of her first encounter with the painting that “there were those inevitable break through moments when a fold in one of the Magdalene’s garments, the muscles in her contorted arms, the luminescent tears dripping slowly from her eyes, or perhaps even the flow of the brilliant colors of her garments into and out of each other caused a pause in my tranquility”.4 This description of the detail and beauty of the work as given by religious and art scholar Diane Apostolos-Cappadona shows that the rich details of the work are not lost in the belief that Michelangelo promotes to the worth of paintings coming outside of Italy, nor to the style that define them as other than Italian. Weyden has an intentionality that is as complex as any of the works that came out of Italy at the same time as his works were painted. Stokstad and Cothren write that the contortion that is placed on the body of Mary Magdalene balances out the heavier weight of the composition on the left.5 The design of the work is both meaningful on a spiritual level, but meaningful on a compositional level as well. Alfred Acres describes the development of Weyden’s work as textual with the use of literal works of literature showing up in his work as well as a litany of symbols that define Weyden and his intentions within the work. What Weyden does is to intertwine visual and verbal theologies in order to create a ...Show more
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Summary

In Francisco de Hollanda’s Michelangelo on Flemish Painting, which is part of Four Dialogues in appendix to his 'lractado de Pintura Antigua (written 1547-49), he relates a conversation that he had with Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, one of the most well remembered and talented artists of the Renaissance.1 In this conversation Michelangelo discusses the value of Flemish art and that it is not good art, but that only Italian art can be considered good with a show of devotion to God…
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