I had not seen this in years. So, after seeing a clip show talking about the film, I decided to look up a trailer.
And what do I see at the beginning?
The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo.
It doesn’t take an expert to know that this acts as foreshadowing for the child Rosemary will carry. Of course, we all know who did not father her child.
Another sketch about Michelangelo and his art. I wanted to enjoy this. It started out good with its amusing use of Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor as a musical intro. The opening dialogue felt very Abbot and Costello meets The Muppet Show in that it parodies the theater. Then it went downhill. I barely laughed. I think it started when they named the Venus de Milo as a Renaissance era work (Did I hear that right?). Now I know they probably intended this as funny (no laughter from the audience), but since they establish the speaker as the straight person, this bit falls apart. They do correctly proclaim that Michelangelo did not want to paint the Sistine Chapel due to his preference for sculpture. I think the sketch just felt very tired and clichéd. Especially when they made fun of the way people remember Rome via stereotypes and media representation. Not to mention the constant claims that foreshadow how the Sistine Chapel will immortalize Michelangelo. Haven’t heard that before.
Performed by Desmond Oliver Dingle (ETA: By Patrick Barlow) and the National Theatre of Brent, the main plot of the sketch revolves around the Pope wanting Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel. Depicts the Pope as gruff , debauched, and constantly mispronouncing words (a sometimes funny moment) and Michelangelo as this sensitive intellectual artist who feels unrequited love for worker and accidental muse Lorenzo. The whole thing, especially with the gay humor just felt tired and forced. Not to mention that Desmond’s co-star Raymond’s voice grates after a while, especially during the “THE CEILING!” bit. Maybe because the Monty Python Michelangelo sketch became the gold standard for me with its classic one liners and delivery, this left me hollow and disappointed.
See for yourself.
I found this for free on Kindle. An art historian I have never heard of. For understandable and bad reasons, this man has gone completely under the radar. Understandable meaning that he had very outdated views of women. Bad because he recorded first hand accounts of some of major players of the modern art movement. Edouard Manet? He had dinner with this man! Edgar Degas? He visited his studio!
Also known as artworks I have seen in person:
I have gawked at the notebook pages and paintings of Leonardo da Vinci.
I have seen the portrait of George Washington.
I have seen Paolo Veronese’s Christ in the House of Levi.
I have walked underneath the murals of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. There, the three-dimensional illusion played with my eyes so much, it felt like the painted characters would fall on me at any moment.
I have walked around Michelangelo’s David.
I have seen the works of Titian.
I have seen Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
I have bent down and looked at the pages from the Book of Kells at Trinity College.
I have seen Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi.
I have seen a Caravaggio at the National Gallery of Ireland.
I have felt overwhelmed by immense sculpture of Alexander Calder.
I have marveled at the small canvas of the Raft of the Medusa.
I have seen and adored Cellini’s Perseus Slaying Medusa while I walked through Florence’s center of sculpture.
I have seen the sweet pastel color scheme of Claude Monet.
I have seen The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali. Quite small, yes?
I have followed the stories of William Hogarth. Stories that always end in horrible tragedy.
Am I finished with my pilgrimages? Not at all.
In 1508, Michelangelo begins working on the Sistine Chapel. Having seen this work, it was like a 3D experience. All the figures looked like they were going to fall down on you. It was literally raining men! All that place needed was a disco ball, some dry ice, and some *oonce oonce oonce* style music.
Ah, Michelangelo. Even today, his paintings and sculptures of draw feelings of awe.
“I am still learning,” Michelangelo
According to a plaque I bought in the Aran Islands that this quote carved on it, Michelangelo was in his late 70s when he said that. This quote has always resonated with me in that one never truly stops learning. It resembles the title to my other blog “Learning As I Go Along In Life,”