Michelangelo and Bernini



Before one can fully appreciate Michelangelo’s contribution to the Baroque style, more must be known about Michelangelo’s particular style as an architect. Michelangelo (1475-1564) is perhaps most famous for his frescoes painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He is also well-known as a sculptor, having created numerous famous pieces such as David and the Pieta. However, he was also an accomplished architect. Having won fame and admiring support from the Pope to many other leaders of Renaissance Italy through his painting and sculptural talents, Michelangelo turned architect in his later years, smoothly incorporating his sculptural ideas of communicating through the stone with his natural ideas concerning his paintings to create unique works of art in things as utilitarian as a set of stairs for the Laurentian Library. While impressive and highly decorative, modern interpretations of this staircase criticize it for its massive use of space and for the nearly unusable aspects of the two outer lower stairways. However, Michelangelo’s architectural work demonstrates that he wasn’t as firmly entrenched in the Classical ideals of his time as his contemporaries. “Michelangelo generated sculptural detailing that marked the beginning of the Baroque and the end of purely classical architecture. Michelangelo emphasized visual effect over the structural logic of a design. He always subordinated invention to the needs of overall composition”.The way he accomplished this occurred.