The Madonna, Child, St. John and Angels by Michelangelo


The Creation of Adam, c.1510 (detail)

The Creation of Adam
Michelangelo ...
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National Gallery, London

DURING the first five years of the sixteenth century, Michelangelo painted a short series of Madonnas of which this London version is typical. He had not fully matured and ripened. Life had not yet thrown him back upon his heels. His preoccupation, later an obsession, with the rendering of the perfection and drama of the human form had not yet seized him. And so this religious painting retains much of the sweet, almost sentimental, quality of his first teacher, Ghirlandaio. There are passages--the draperies covering the legs of the Madonna--which indicate the line of his future development, bold, monumental treatment, painting in terms of sculpture.

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