Importance of Michelangelo for the Catholic Church.docx -...

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Importance of Michelangelo for the Catholic ChurchIn the 8th century, a controversy broke out the Christian world over the issue of the legitimacy ofusing icons in worship. On one side of the dispute were the iconoclasts: the smashers of icons, who argued that the use of pictorial representations of sacred things ran contrary to the Old Testament prohibitions against making graven images. To picture God, angels or saints struck theiconoclasts as tantamount to idolatry. On the other side of the argument were the iconophile: the lovers of icons. They argued that God had made an icon of himself in the humanity of Jesus for Paul referred to Christ as “the icon of the invisible God.” Hence, when artists make pictures of Christ and his saints they are simply prolonging the Incarnation.One of the most energetic and articulate spokespersons was a monk named John of Damascus, who lived and worked in an isolated monastery not far from Jerusalem. Damascus is one of the most influential and pivotal figures in the history of the Church, for in waging his ultimately successful struggle against iconoclasm; he made possible the incomparable rich tradition of visual art within the Catholicism. Because of John of Damascus, now we can appreciate Notre-Dame Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle, Pieta, David, and Sistine Chapel Ceiling. I make this last threereferences for, in many ways, Michelangelo represents the full flowering of the Catholic artistic tradition, which found its origin in John of Damascus´ victory. Can beauty be a route of access toGod and means of evangelization? John of Damascus said yes. And no one ratified that affirmation more stunningly and completely than Michelangelo. Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in 1475 in the little village of Caprese, about 60 miles east of Florence. “His father was a small time Florentine banker who had fallen on hard times and had
taken an administrative position in the small town” (Leonard). Just a few months after the Michelangelo’s birth, the family moved back to Florence. When Michelangelo’s mother became quite ill, the baby was given to a wet nurse from the town of Settignano, set near the quarries from which some of the finest marble in Italy was derived. That is why, years later, the artist could say, “Along with the milk of my nurse, I received the knack of handling hammer and chisel.” Michelangelo would always consider himself a sculptor first and last. When he was still a young child, Michelangelo apprenticed to the Florentine painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, who had worked along with Botticelli on decorations the walls of the Sistine Chapel

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