Oct 28 2009

Breath-taking, Insightful.

Published by Alina Pavlova under Michelangelo's First Painting,Uncategorized

The painting captivated me. The first thing that took me in was the colorfulness of the piece. There were a lot of vibrant colors that made the piece interesting to look at on the surface.
Michaelangelo's first painting.
However, what was found beyond the surface was what made the painting authentic. After looking at the piece of art for a while, I internalized the main idea that Michelangelo was trying to portray – that people true to God are invincible to and incorruptible by evil that surrounds them. I was fond of the way Michelangelo depicted that idea – he drew ugly, distorted, colorful figures to represent evil or perhaps the Devil’s workers. This contrasted with the saint whom the figures were trying to tempt or harm. The saint was in a solid black gown, with a pale and calm face. The white face could have signified purity, and the black gown could have been the protector from evil. The peace in the saint’s face meant to me that he had enough faith in God to not be scared about the Devil’s hands surrounding him. In addition, the clear, blue sky in the background meant to me that there really wasn’t anything to worry about – the saint will be able to get past the evil temptation because there was nothing ominous about his surroundings. Usually, (and this is broadly portrayed in literature, especially Shakespeare), when there is something to dread, nature and the atmosphere is the first indicator. But seeing as nature was tranquil, the Devil was not going to be able to succeed at corrupting or seducing the saint. Everything that I was able to interpret from the painting – the significance of the ugly figures being colorful, and the saint being black and white, the calmness of the background – was what made the painting authentic for me. Never have I ever seen such a representation of good and evil, never have I ever seen it contrasted the way Michelangelo did. And his clever way of going about that as far as the colors and the details, was what made me see his creation as unique.

A NYTimes Critique of the Exhibition.

One response so far

One Response to “Breath-taking, Insightful.”

  1.   Amrita Narineon 01 Nov 2009 at 2:32 pm

    The way you interpreted the colors is very interesting: “The white face could have signified purity, and the black gown could have been the protector from evil.” I didn’t even think of the colors that he was wearing. I just accepted it as the typical portrayal.
    I also like what you said about nature being an indicator. I thought about the background scenery as a way to make the forefront of the painting really pop and more shocking, however, I agree with you as well. :]