1: “Michelangelo’s Last Judgement is like nothing ever seen before or since.”¯ Discuss. (300 words)
The Last Judgment was the epic work of a genius artist, Michelangelo. This work of art was really unique and one of the major works of the artist. The uniqueness of The Last Judgment can be traced in both the form and the content. In fact, the scope of this work is unparalleled. The Last Judgment depicts the second coming of Jesus Christ and covers the entire wall behind the altar in the Sistine Chapel. This monumental work shows the last judgment but the depth of this work of art is really impressing. The artist has managed to show the last judgment and its horrors to remind the audience about the upcoming end of the world. At the same time, Michelangelo has managed to combine the Last Judgment and hope for those whose faith is strong. In this regard, this work of art is really unique and different from many others. The scope of the work is another feature of The Last Judgment since the artist has managed to depict in one work people struggling on the Earth as they face their last day and souls of those, who have gained the right to access Heavens, the return of Jesus Christ, who now assists his Father on the Judgment Day and those, who failed to find salvation and are doomed to vanish in eternity. In such a way, the artist uncovers his vision of the Last Judgment which is unique since Michelangelo has managed to convey his own view of the Judgment Day.
2: Analyse the key points of comparison and difference between Leonardo’s Virgin and Child with St Anne (Louvre, Paris) with Raphael’s Madonna of the Meadow (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). (max 300 words)
Leonardo’s Virgin and Child with St Anne and Raphael’s Madonna of the Meadow depict Madonna and Jesus but the artists have chosen the different circumstances in which Madonna is depicted. Leonardo da Vinci depicted Madonna with Jesus and St. Anna, who seems to help Madonna with the baby. Instead, Raphael preferred to depict Madonna with Jesus, who was playing with St. John the Baptist. Both artists depicted Jesus playing that mirrors the tenderness of both paintings.
On the other hand, the colouring used by the artists is different in a way. Da Vinci preferred using mild, warm colours, while Raphael chose rather cold than warm colours. As a result, Raphael’s Madonna and Jesus are brighter and more distinct compared to those of da Vinci. At the same time, the warm colouring of da Vinci enhances the tenderness of the moment depicted by the artist, while Raphael’s cold colouring serves to emphasize the beauty of Madonna and the child rather than to enhance the tenderness of the moment.
Furthermore, the background is quite different in the two paintings. Raphael pays more attention to the nature, while da Vinci focuses his attention on Madonna, the child and St. Anne mainly. As a result, Raphael shows the integrity of Madonna, the child and the nature, while da Vinci places emphasis on Madonna, her child and St. Anne, while the natural environment is rather insignificant in this painting. Therefore, Rraphael depicted Madonna and the child closer to the nature and, therefore, people, while da Vinci stresses their divine origin and nature.