The Agony and the Ecstasy Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe how Michelangelo gets his start in art education.

Thirteen-year-old Michelangelo Buonarroti is brought to the Guild Hall of Signor Ghirlandaio by his friend, Francesco Granacci, a nineteen-year-old who has been apprenticed to Ghirlandaio. Ghirlandaio is considered a master of one of the painting guilds in Florence. Granacci, who believes his friend has remarkable talent, brings Michelangelo to the studio so he can also be apprenticed to Ghirlandaio.

2. Describe how Michelangelo's ideas depart from the ideas of his teacher.

He believes that sculpture is the greatest art form, which is somewhat heretical in Ghirlandaio's school of painters. He also believes that humans should be drawn as they are, frequently nude, which is not the prevalent view.

3. How does Michelangelo's first year of training go?

In his first year as an apprentice, Michelangelo is officially treated as if he knows nothing about art. Most of his work is in the tedious business of learning to prepare paints and the surfaces that are to be painted. He chafes at his inability to do any real work.

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