Michelangelo Buonarroti

i spent a wonderful saturday reading a new biography on michelangelo, and that made me want try carving a portrait of him. well, as you know he lived about 500 years ago, so no fotos of him exist. so, i am basing my portrait of him onto the few paintings artists have made while michelangelo lived (showing michelangelo in different ages as well), and there is a drawing, and a bronze sculpture of him, from which i have only one foto sadly …. oh, yes, and of course there are a few selfportraits in the artwork he produced himself.

my first step was studying this meager reference material, and ask myself if i think these representations show the same man… yes, i think they do, though they do differ in some aspects dramatically. so, my plan is, to try carve from this reference material a portrait, showing him how i see the man michelangelo was from the many biographies i have read of him, and from what i think i can read in his sculptures and fresko of the sixtine chapell… so what i will end up with, might very well not be any similar to the true michelangelo, but it will show how i imagine he was …

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Todd Breitholle
    May 25, 2009 @ 16:04:14

    Nice work Doris. I like the the way he comes out of the wood.



    • dorisfiebig
      May 25, 2009 @ 16:30:17

      hi todd, yes i made him come out of the wood like that, since i wanted make sort of citation, michelangelo always said the figure is already inside the stone, he just cuts it free,,, and, i wanted let it look like it were unfinished,since michelangelo has left a number of his carvings unfinished, for various reasons…glad you noted that particular point


      • markyundt
        Jun 26, 2009 @ 05:39:57

        “The best of artists hath no thought to show…” Ahhhh!

        Of course it’s one of my favorite subjects but besides that,, it’s simply great on so many levels. It almost appears as though his face captures a bit of a strain to try and look to the right ( his left) and is a bit distressed by the uncut section that prevents him from turning. His eyes also give this away. In one aspect,, he is captured and limited by the very thing he is used to doing and supported him.. carving away excess material. And now it’s stopping him.

        Yes , it does echo his later works where they were not finished completely. This too creates a bit of tension and wonder as he himself is now a victim of his own design. He hit one of his carvings out of frustration that he wanted it to “talk” to him,,,now he is in the same predicament.The carving wanted to talk, as he here wants to turn but,,,,,now he knows. The carving was just as frustrated as he.
        Parts finished,, parts not..doesn’t matter because this carving is finished as it is perfectly done. How do you know when a carving is finished? When it says what you intended for it to say. And many think his unfinished pieces are some of his best. I don’t know if this is what you had in mind,,regardless,, it says volumes to me. And that too is part of the journey.

        Having it speak to a viewer,,,if not the sculptors themselves. His carving may not have spoken to him… but it has to millions since…..

        Thank you for carving this piece.


  2. dorisfiebig
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 08:58:46

    thank you mark, for letting me know how the carving reads to you… it is not important if i wanted say what you read in it, but yes my thoughts went along a similar path,,, the important to me is, that the carving is able to speak, so to say, it means everything to me. …


  3. Paolo
    Jul 06, 2009 @ 22:07:48

    Maybe I liss the information in your description, and I know it’s not so important but, what kind of wood is it?
    Anyway, that’s a fantastic work; I think Michelangelo is happy of your portrait.


    • dorisfiebig
      Jul 06, 2009 @ 22:17:52

      thank you paolo, i am glad you like the carving, and appreciate your comment … the wood is linden, i like it for portraits in particular since it shows only little grain, and so the carving is in the focus, and not the nice wood grain pattern….


  4. Kurt Fischer
    Aug 04, 2009 @ 12:07:37

    Excellent work, Doris. Has a lot of personality in it. The way he emerges out of the block gives a nice touch.


  5. Rich Larow
    Jan 15, 2013 @ 00:41:46

    Amazing and realistic carvings! Such nice work- i was wondering if you carve any Egyptian Statues, like the Winged Isis or things of that Nature?


    • dorisfiebig
      Jan 15, 2013 @ 21:35:34

      wow, thanks rich. yes branching off into the direction you suggest would be interesting, i never did however, close portraits and capturing an emotion, a thought or a feeling was always my interest. so, the michelangelo portrait is in this sense at the heart of what i love doing.


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