Divine Michelangelo - programme synopses
path to success was plagued with difficulties.
one traces the troubled origins of his genius, from boyhood beatings
from his father, to fights with fellow artists.
father's feeling that his obsession with art would bring disgrace
to the family failed to deter the young, determined Michelangelo.
to become a sculptor came early, when his father sent him to a wet-nurse
whose husband was a stonemason.
the time he reached his teens he showed precocious talent and at
the age of 25 he was a rising star.
tempestuous young Michelangelo made a name for himself as an art
faker and his first major commission was rejected by his patron.
night, gripped by rage and driven by a determination to ensure the
world knew who he was, he carved his name across the breast of his
first masterpiece, the Pietà.
aged 26, he took on the seemingly impossible challenge of sculpting
a colossal statue of the biblical hero, David, from one piece of
towering nude, over five metres tall, took more than two years to
complete but established Michelangelo as the greatest sculptor alive,
immortalising him forever.
programme shows sculptor Romolo Burati as he recreates key features
of the David's face, conveying the sheer skill and craft embodied
in Michelangelo's exquisite work.
created this great masterpiece, Michelangelo's next challenge was
to design a structure to transport the sculpture, which weighed
several tons, across the uneven roads without the giant crashing
to the ground.
was no mean feat even by today's standards.
illustrate the technical skills that Michelangelo displayed, the
programme enlists engineer Nick McLean to follow in Michelangelo's
illustrations and a diary entry from an eye witness, he develops
a structure to shift the replica David through the cobbled Italian
becomes clear that Michelangelo's commission to carve the David
proved him to be not only a master sculptor, but also a thoroughly
story of Michelangelo's titanic struggle to paint the ceiling of
the Sistine Chapel, one of the artistic marvels of the world, is
told in the second episode of The Divine Michelangelo.
Imagine the torture of painting an area the size of a football pitch,
20 metres off the ground...
1508 to 1512 this is exactly what Michelangelo was forced to do
by Pope Julius II who commissioned him to paint the ceiling of the
viewed it as a trap set by his enemies in the Vatican and was horrified
that he would have to stoop to what he considered the lowly and
inferior craft of painting.
he really wanted to do was carve the Pope's tomb - a saga in itself,
which would haunt him for years to come.
Michelangelo confronted the huge expanse of the ceiling, he quickly
ran into huge difficulties and ended up destroying his own work.
This programme explores some of the main challenges he faced by
recruiting two modern fresco artists - Fleur Kelly and Leo Stevenson
- to produce at a church in Leyton, east London, their own version
of the iconic scene where God creates Adam.
four years of struggle and disappointment, the Sistine Chapel ceiling
the Pope was dissatisfied with the heavenly creation and demanded
changes, such as the addition of more gold and blue, as he felt
it looked too poor. Michelangelo, made ill by his trials, was not
25 years later he did return to the Sistine Chapel to paint the
fresco of The Last Judgement on the altar wall.
established his genius as a sculptor and painter Michelangelo went
on to completely change the Roman skyline with his architectural
broke many of the accepted rules of architecture, creating terrifically
original and beautiful work, culminating in the dome of St Peter's.
was obsessed by this final project for the rest of his life. He
saw it as a deeply spiritual task that would assure him a place
in history and in heaven.
his later years, Michelangelo's poetry also blossomed. Struck by
true love for a young Roman nobleman named Cavalieri he was inspired
to write some of his most moving verses.
When Michelangelo died at the age of 88 he left a fortune, including
8,000 gold coins in a walnut chest by his bed and numerous farms
lived a simple, frugal existence but was also the richest, and most
famous, artist ever to have lived.
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