Archive for the 'Michelangelo’s First Painting' Category

Dec 11 2009

Michelangelo’s First

Published by Jason Wat under Michelangelo's First Painting


When I first entered I was amazed at all the different artworks that were displayed. The museum was filled with people. As I looked for Michelangelo’s First Painting, I noticed a lot of people were going in the same direction. I kept walking as I passed a group of people crowding around one area. I did not realize it until I asked someone that the painting I was looking for was the one everyone was looking at. I realized that many people had come here just to see this special exhibition on the last day it was on display here. Many were curious as to what Michelangelo painted his first painting of. Others were attracted to the name of Michelangelo as I heard a couple discussing his big name and his masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Continue Reading »

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Dec 09 2009


Published by Samantha under Michelangelo's First Painting

Henri Regnault Salome 1870

Painted by Regnault, Salomé is a depiction of an unnamed female figure in the Bible that is often considered a dangerous seductress. The daughter of Herod Antipas – governor of Judea – she is infamous for the execution of John the Baptist, which the dagger and silver platter on her lap serve as a reference to. Most interestingly, this painting was originally of an African woman. Then Regnault expanded the painting at the bottom and the right and decided to use an Italian model. Out of all the paintings at the Met, this one spoke to me for its tranquility. Using oil paint, he created a beautiful, natural, dreamy colors. It resonates like an intimate picture of a lover despite Regnault’s juxtaposition of femininity and violence.

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Dec 09 2009

First painting, First Impression

Published by Mary Priolo under Michelangelo's First Painting

     To be completely honest I don’t know what I expected from Michelangelo’s first painting, and I was soon to find out as I walked in and a large sign directed me to it. I guess I was almost purposely expecting the opposite of what you would think; this large grand feat of paint. In doing so I was correct at first glance. It was a small oil painting of what appeared to be intertwining demons surrounding St. Anthony.

    The colors in this painting tell me that St. Anthony is the “victim” in this painting. The vibrant reds and greens seem to portray so much power, and St. Anthony is a faded shade of black. What caught my eye was the fact that Michelangelo painting a very calm face on St Anthony. To me this means two things, that it represents that no matter what power anything has you can always persevere, and be mentally sound. Also I felt it showed a touch of comfort from Michelangelo that a Saint will resist all evil, because if a saint cant how can he?

    I was fooled I expected the opposite and at first glace that is what I got but as with most great art, after careful study, I discovered a great intricate painting.


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Dec 07 2009

His first painting

Published by blah under Michelangelo's First Painting

No, it wasn’t that great. The original engraving is better; it was more detailed. I like Saint Anthony’s serene expression Schongauer’s more than his solemn expression in Michelangelo’s. Yes, his form and color are close to flawless and he hinted his own style; but a copy is still a copy. I wasn’t happy with how the Met had made a big deal out of one painting, but I understood the painting’s significance in Michelangelo’s life.

I know that imitation is one of the best ways to practice and grow as an artist. Michaelngelo actually researched on this one piece. He actually studied fish in the markets so he can incorporate the shimmer in the scales on the bodies of the monsters in his painting. But I still can’t accept the fact that his painting had taken the limelight from the original.

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Nov 17 2009

Saint Anthony and his Demonic buddies

Published by Sai Ma under Michelangelo's First Painting

A question that often surfaces when it comes to Michelangelo’s First Painting is its authenticity. Critics feel that this creation should not be wholly credited to Michelangelo because it was based on the work of another artist at the time- Martin Schongauer’s “Saint Anthony tormented by demons”. A closer analysis of these two individual paintings will reveal a much more intricate and astonishing revelation.

Michelangelo is not normally known for his paintings but rather for his sculpturing. This disparity helps create a unique sense to his first painting because of this popular conception. My first encounter with these two similar paintings led to a confusing experience: at first I couldn’t tell which painting was whose and that led me to believe that maybe I had walked into the wrong exhibit. However, a closer observation revealed to me just how fascinating Michelangelo was able to recreate this piece of work. Starting with the fact that Michelangelo’s creation is an oil painting helps separate his work from that of Martin Schongauer’s. This may seem like an obvious difference, however it also creates a sense of originality in Michelangel’s painting because the essence of color adds a new dimension to Schongauer’s original work. This “new dimension” gives the subjects in the painting greater life. Through the addition of color, we are able to witness the individuality of these demons that are harassing St Anthony. Because these demons consist of a different blend of color shades, it is more apparent that St Anthony is being attacked by multiple entities as opposed to a conglomeration of demons that are tangled up in a mess with St Anthony in Schongauer’s engraving. The addition of color also meant that Michelangelo had to use different artistic techniques in his creation. Because Schongauer’s engraving was in black and white, techniques such as shading, contouring and texturing were accomplished in a very different means. Michelangelo’s oil painting was based more on the varying degrees of colors and shades to help accomplish the fine details in his painting.
I also couldn’t help but notice the amount of detail when it came to the fish demon. The scales were counted with a thick amount of paint to outline its rich texture (the skin looks so shiny and glossy that it’s almost surreal). The thick buildup of paint blends quite nicely with the fish’s sharp outline.

Another form of emphasis in Michelangelo’s painting is the mixture of color that contrasts one another. For example one demon has a tremendous amount of red coloring while another demon on top of it contains a bland tone of dirt mixtures. Once again, these contrasting colors help give demons more of an individual identity because of their noticeable physical differences.

The addition of a background scenery in Michelangelo’s First Painting provides a feeling of relief in a sense because it helps take away some of the focus from the main subjects and adds more of a contrast to an otherwise intimidating artwork. All these fine details prove that Michelangelo’s First Painting is truly an authentic creation. Forget the fact that he used the composition from Schogauer’s work. Michelangelo’s masterpiece deserves all the merits associated with any piece of authentic artwork. His painting feels original because of the different techniques he utilized, imaginative because of the way he designed this painting and of course most importantly, this painting feels truly unique in the sense that he was able to blend all these artistic elements into the total package. I just cannot help but marvel at how he accomplished all of this at such a young age.

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Nov 12 2009

It’s All In The Colors

Published by harshita parikh under Michelangelo's First Painting

Authenticity of any art piece can be measured by how much the artwork succeeds in drawing the viewer towards it and what impact the art piece leaves on the viewer. That’s exactly what Michelangelo’s first painting “The Torment of St. Anthony” succeeds in doing.

The use of colors is such that at the first sight my complete attention was captured by the main event that was taking place in the painting – a serene looking St. Anthony being tormented by bold colored demons in mid air. The blue white background of the painting emphasizes this main subject. Gradually I began noticing the picturesque background, which shows a clear blue cloudless sky at the top, a peaceful river with a boat sailing at the bottom and grey rocks covered with brown-green algae towards the left. This setting of St. Anthony’s torment as portrayed in this painting by Michelangelo adds a mystical and unearthly quality to the otherwise ferocious scene. The boat sailing in the waters below also makes the viewer realize how numinous the situation portrayed is.

I also think that Michelangelo uses  colors in the painting to inform the viewers about the power the demons have over St. Anthony by using bold colors like fiery red and metallic green to represent the demons while St. Anthony cloak is painted in dull black. Further the expression on St. Anthony’s face can be best described as serene and placid. That is not what I would expect from somebody who is being subjected to excruciating pain by a number of demons. This led me to believe that through St. Anthony’s unruffled expression Michelangelo was trying to portray how in spite of the demons’ superior physical strength St. Anthony is much stronger mentally and spiritually that is why he can resist the evil force of the demons.  This point was also proven by the fact that Michelangelo painted dead plants on the rocks close to the demons showing how evil and life threatening the demons really are and still did not affect St. Anthony.

Another thing that struck me about the painting was that the artist showed an extraordinary talent for details when he painted the spikes and the scales in the fish like demon or the bright red ridges on the green body of the winged demon or even the varied expressions of all the nine demons. According to the museum sources Michelangelo was inspired to paint this scene by Martin Schongauer’s engraving. Though the main theme of the painting is the same in Michelangelo’s adaptation of the engraving, Michelangelo softens the characters and the situation by adding a beautiful background and by making the features of the characters and the painting in general less elaborate.

That is why I consider this piece of art as authentic – it appeals to the viewer because of it’s subject as well as for the artistic talent of the painter. As I have mentioned before the artist gives  many hints in the painting through his use of colors, choice of background, characters’ expressions so that the observer can understand what the artist was trying to portray through his art. The subject of the painting is extremely clear and the raw emotions of anger and ferociousness draws the observer towards it.

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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.
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Oct 21 2009

It Was A Ford, But No Jaguar!

Published by Rhianna Mohamed under Michelangelo's First Painting

The Torment of Saint Anthony was painted by Michelangelo, when he was only twelve or thirteen years old. Recently bought by the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, The Torment of Saint Anthony has been conserved and examined at the Metropolitan Museum this summer, where it is making its American debut in a gallery display titled “Michelangelo’s First Painting.” The display, organized by Keith Christiansen, sets the painting and Schongauer’s original engraving side by side.

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Oct 19 2009

Michelangelo’s Journey

Published by Nathaly Martinez under Michelangelo's First Painting

It is evident to me that a piece of art is authentic when it grabs my attention and stands out to me in a way that no other art piece in the room possibly can.  “Michelangelo’s First Painting” entitled “the “Torment of Saint Anthony” did just that.  Seeing the painting and learning about the story behind it really allowed me to view Michelangelo’s work in a new light. Continue Reading »

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Oct 19 2009

Dear Michelangelo, Being Bad Never Felt So Good

Published by Nguyen Chi under Michelangelo's First Painting

I looked at Michelangelo’s first painting and said to myself: “Thank God, he didn’t start out as a genius.”

It is clear that Michelangelo’s “The Torment of Saint Anthony” cannot (and should not) be compared to his much later work like the “Sistine Chapel” or “David.” It lacks the technical skill and the refined style that belong to an older and more mature Michelangelo. This first painting, however, brought out a whole new dimension to this brilliant Renaissance man that many overlooked. If  “The Torment of Saint Anthony” achieves anything, it definitely succeeds in portraying Michelangelo as an authentic and genuine person, simply because his first work is not a masterpiece.

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