Michelangelo Art: Copying The Divine

Michelangelo art reflects the philosophy of Michelangelo himself. The Italian artist once said,

“The True work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. Only God creates. The rest of us just copy.” – Michelangelo

Michelangelo Buonarroti was a painter, sculptor, poet and architect who showed us, and continues to show us, glimpses of the divine. We’ll explore some of our favorite Michelangelo Art with our very own Michelangelo Top 3!

Michelangelo art

Michelangelo Art: 3rd Place

The Portrait Drawings

Michelangelo created some very big, very famous paintings in his time, and we’ll definitely get to those. But his portrait drawing is also worth mentioning! Portraits like the one of Andrea Quaratesi, below, show us a unique, more subtle version of Michelangelo’s style. In case you can’t tell by the image, Andrea was a rich son of Italian bankers. This fifteenth-century version of a trust fund brat had the chance of getting his very own drawing lessons from Michelangelo himself (which is a crazy-cool birthday present, if you ask us.) The subtle facial expression reminds us of a certain work of Leonardo da Vinci (who was, coincidentally, one of Michelangelo’s Renaissance colleagues.)

Portraits like this were often given as gifts. We like to speculate that Andrea himself got to keep this one, since selfies hadn’t arrived on the scene just yet. #DrawingClass #BestStudentEver.

The Michelangelo philosophy rings true here–the subject is indeed what the artist would call “a creation of God.” The job of the artist is merely to make an image of the being God has already created. Pretty solid image, Michelangelo.

Michelangelo Art

Michelangelo Art: 2nd Place

The Studies

You don’t always get to see incomplete works-in-progress by famous artists. When you do, it’s like getting a peek into their brilliant artistic minds. The various “study” works we have from Michelangelo feel like a look inside of his private diary. The unpolished, drawings, frequently done in pencil, give us a unique look at the artist’s process. Many of the studies were later used in Michelangelo’s big, famous, crazy-awesome work that we’re going to talk about next.

Michelangelo Art

Michelangelo Art: 1st Place

The Sistine Chapel

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment you have all been waiting for. The paintings Michelangelo completed on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel are some of the most famous and incredible works of art of the Renaissance Era. The great and holy space inside the Sistine Chapel already had highly-revered paintings on its walls, and the ceiling of the space was generally not a place of great importance.

Michelangelo blew that preconception out of the water.

Instead of going with individual figures, Michelangelo overwhelmed the space with dramatic scenes and dynamic storytelling. Over the span of just four years, the Italian artist filed the ceiling with scenes from almost the entire Bible, from the Creation of Adam to The Last Judgement. Pope Julius II got a lot more than he bargained for… in a good way!

Michelangelo Art

The prints and details from the Sistine Chapel are nearly endless. So many beautiful, memorable, and moving images adorn the space. Everyone wants a piece of Michelangelo’s pinnacle work!

Michelangelo Art


In his most famous work, Michelangelo epitomized his artistic philosophy. He took the entire story of the Christian God and the creation of the world, and created images to retell the narrative. But we can’t refer to these dynamic, detailed works as “just copies.” Michelangelo, you’re the real deal!

For more Michelangelo Art, Click Here!