The Holy Burial of Michelangelo

The Holy Burial of Michelangelo
The Holy Burial of Michelangelo

There is a Michelangelo Buonarrotti poet, another architect, perhaps the most famous of all is the Michelangelo sculptor thanks to his exceptional works such as the David or the Pietá, and of course there is also a Michelangelo painter with creations as sublime as the pictorial ensemble of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.


The Holy Burial of Michelangelo

But in addition to his mural paintings, the truth is that there are not many easel or small-format paintings. Only a few paintings on panel are preserved, and in some cases there are even critics who have doubts that they came from the hand of the great Renaissance artist. However, there are no such doubts in works such as the Tondo Doni that is exhibited in theUffizi Galleryof hisFlorencehometown. And another is this large panel (162 x 150) of the Santo Entierro painted in oil between 1500 and 1501. A painting that is part of the collection of the National Gallery London.

It is thought that the work would be part of a larger group, since it would be integrated into an altarpiece that he was making for the church of San Agustín in Rome, but that he abandoned unfinished to return to Florence.

The truth is that this would be the first painting of him on this scale. Despite this, it captures his domain in the portentous representation of the bodyhuman, as well as giving the scene a moving feeling that is more than evident.

Fuse two different iconographic themes in the same scene. On the one hand, it seems that it paints how the body of Christ is lifted to take it to the tomb. And on the other is the exposure of the dead body of Christ.

The state in which he left the painting shows us the whole process of the painter's work. In the first place he arranged the background landscape, and on it he made a study of the composition making a simple sketch of all the figures. It can also be seen thatMichelangeloused a peculiar technique, more appropriate for sculpture than for painting, and that is that he did not hesitate to scrape the paint to remove certain touches and colors.

As for the colors, it is worth looking at how they are distributed throughout the characters. The central one is the lifeless body of Jesus, which has a cadaverous greenish tone, despite the fact that the painter never used green pigment. Next to him is Saint John in a striking red robe. And on the other side of the protagonist, a character dressed in brownish green is seen, who is unidentified for sure. Then there are women who would represent the Three Marys, although the Virgin Mary is not seen, but it would be planned that she would be located in the foreground in the right corner, but she was never painted and if she had, she would have been wearing a blue identifying mantle, thus ending the play of colors in the composition.

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