Monumentality & Emotion.

Human spirit, vulnerability & nobility

Michelangelo & Sebastiano at London’s National Gallery – be awed at the …

… human spirit & creativity at its highest

Michelangelo Sebastiano National Gallery London: the power of the emotion on display is almost overwhelming.

No wonder Vasari called Michelangelothe divine’.

In touch with their God: Michelangelo Sebastiano National Gallery

Michelangelo Sebastiano National Gallery
Michelangelo Buonarroti Adam and his Creator God Sistine Chapel Roma

If any artist was ever in touch with his God, it was Michelangelo.

For us lesser mortals he personified the highest of artistic achievement, the perfection of the human form, the noblest depiction of humankind whether in grief, fear, ecstasy and the deepest of emotions.

Humanism to the fore: Michelangelo & Sebastiano National Gallery

Man and woman released to show pride and strength in their physical and psychological nakedness.

Michelangelo Sebastiano National Gallery
Michelangelo ‘Christ Resurrected’

Acknowledging God and his son Jesus Christ, these two placed mankind almost on a par.

Monumental, spiritual solemnity: Michelangelo & Sebastiano National Gallery

Monumental figures, deep spiritual sculptural solemnity, human in their settings and so easily identifiable with by us mortals.

Michelangelo Sebastiano National Gallery
Sebastiano del Piombo ‘Christ Carrying the Cross’

 

Sebastiano’s ‘Raising of Lazarus’:

Michelangelo Sebastiano National Gallery
‘The Raising of Lazarus’ Sebastiano del Piombo

In this exhibition it is set within context and the viewer cannot help but be drawn into the story to contemplate and enjoy.

Movement is there, emotion of course, recognisable figures, all realistically depicted for us to identify with.

Composition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano National Gallery

Compositionally, Sebastiano has created open form, to invite us in as part of the story as witness. The light sources and postures are true and recognisable, the colours dynamic, the verticals, horizontals and linear perspective give a rigid and realistic structure. Two ‘golden sections’ can be seen.

The work is alive.

The PRB and Michelangelo & Sebastiano National Gallery

William Holman Hunt said of Raphael’s ‘Transfiguration’ ‘grandiose disregard of the simplicity of truth, the pompous posturing of the apostles, and the attitudinizing of the Saviour’.

Michelangelo Sebastiano National Gallery
Raphael ‘Transfiguration’

Hunt was of course a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: a movement to return to naturalism pre-Raphael.

No way could this be said of Raphael’s contemporaries Sebastiano and Michelangelo.

Simple truthful depictions of us at our noblest and malevolent, humble, emotionally strongest and weakest.

The monumentally of the human spirit.

Devine.

The National Gallery London