By Teachers, For Teachers
Michelangelo was widely recognized as the premiere artist of of his age. Like Leonardo da Vinci, he was a "Renaissance Man," knowledgeable in many different fields. A brilliant sculptor and painter, as well as an architect and a poet, he was gifted not only in art, but the science of art. His study of engineering and anatomy was extensive, and he applied them to create some of the most beautiful and iconic works in history.
If you teach art or Renaissance history, or if you just want to mark the great artist's birthday (March 6th), here are a few bell-ringer images, with a sample discussion question for each.
Sample Discussion Question: The Creation of Adam is one of many paintings Michelangelo created for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It took Michelangelo 4 years to complete. Do you think you could spend four years dedicated to a single task like that?
Sample Discussion Question: Michelangelo is remembered for both his paintings and his sculpture. In what ways are the two art forms are similar and different? Do you think Michelangelo was better at one or the other?
Sample Discussion Question: To be a great architect, you must have not only an artistic sensibility but a mastery of math and engineering. Are there other art forms where math or science are important? Are there other technical fields where artistic talent is needed?
Sample Discussion Question: The Tondo Doni (or Doni Tondo) is believed to be one of the only surviving paintings Michelangelo completed without the help of assistants. Do you think the use of assistants makes Michelangelo's other work less "special" somehow, even if they were only mixing paint or filling in details he had already sketched out?
Sample Discussion Question: Michelangelo's David is among the most recognizable and beloved works of art in the world. Currently, it is owned by the City of Florence, Italy, although the country of Italy has also claimed ownership of the work. Do you think it's right for historical masterpieces to be owned, bought, and sold like any other object? Are there some works that should belong to the whole world?