Divine Rivalry: Michelangelo vs Leonardo da Vinci

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“Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo and the Artist Duel that Defined the Renaissance,” a book written by Jonathan Jones, is about the artistic feud that existed between Leonardo Da’ Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarotti during the late 15th and 16th centuries. No different than today, the Florentine society of the renaissance enjoyed a heated rivalry between two social figures. Additionally, feuds were usually started to cleanse one’s name and/or their family’s name of dishonor or in the spirit of competition. Even more so, every feud had the potential of ending in death; for instance, in Lost Battles Jones asserts that according to Vasari “artists do not merely try to outdo one another but even… commit murder out of professional jealousy” (20). During this period there were no better civic leaders to commence battle than that of two competing artists. The book starts off, as any drama would, with the two main characters in open conflict. The insult, as Jones puts it, serves as the first chapter of his book and as the springboard for long-lived grudge.
Jones writes that according to an anonymous author from the 15th century, named Anonimo Magliabechiano, the insult occurred in Florence, Italy “by the benches at Palazzo Spini” (20). Leonardo was walking by a number of Florentine citizens, discussing a portion of Dante’s poetry, when one of the men called out to him and asked for his input on the matter at hand. Yet, as if it was planned, Michelangelo, a rival artist 23 years his junior, passed by the same group that has just stopped Leonardo. For unknown reasons Leonardo felt compelled to drag Michelangelo into the conversation. Furthermore, he attempted to defer the question the “gathering of gentleman” posed to him onto his advers...

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... painted on the walls of the Great Council Hall, served as evidence of Leonardo’s passion for realism. Leonardo’s portrayal of Florence’s battle with Pisa displayed the savagery of war by. Whereas, Michelangelo preferred to create works of art that are considered to be the epitome of idealism. In other words, Michelangelo produced sculptures and paintings that conveys to the viewer of how things should appear in a perfect world. Take for example, his rendition of David which captures the hero, from the epic tale of “David and Goliath,” in the utmost physical condition and lacking any flawless. It could be argued that rivalry was destined from the start because of their opposing artistic styles.
The events that took place outside of the Palazzo Spini pitted one artist against the other and everyone knew that the outcome would be greater works produced from the pair

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