Michelangelo - his thoughts on the classical period vs. the gothic period

Essay by meatloafCollege, UndergraduateA-, December 2002

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Michelangelo wrote about the architecture and artwork before the time of the Renaissance. He studied the cities of ancient Rome trying to get a feel for what they would have looked like before Germanic tribes changed the lifestyle of the Romans. Michelangelo did not appreciate the artwork of the Gothic and much preferred that of the classical antiquity. Though the two styles are quite impressive in their own ways, I agree with Michelangelo, and prefer the style of Classical Antiquity.

The Roman architecture is remarkable in so many different ways. The men of the Classical Antiquity spent much time and effort in order to accomplish their views and ideas. They had to over come obstacles standing in their way, building around and in the landscape to create their sculptures buildings. Ancient Rome had a status of being all-powerful in comparison only to heaven. Beauty was everywhere seen throughout the temples, the arcades, the baths, the amphitheaters, the aqueducts, the porticos, and the palaces.

Every statue and building was given much concern and was created with the utmost love and care. Perfection was the goal. These buildings would have "architrave's, columns, capitals and bases, decorations of a perfect and most pure style" (15, Reader); the pureness creating a beauty beyond words itself.

The beauty of classical antiquity did not stop from its outer appearance but continued throughout the architecture with sculptures and paintings everywhere within. The sculptures and paintings received just as much attention as the architecture and brought about a sense of delight to the interior. Michelangelo lived during the Renaissance, a time of rebirth in the arts and beauty. Classical Antiquity had a certain finesse and greatness encompassed with in it. The buildings are "more excellent in style and built more perfectly, at greater expense and with more...