Part III: Masters of the Human Form

In much the same way, but even more dramatically, Luca Signorelli undertook to complete a series of frescoes in Orvieto between 1499 and 1504. In both "The Damned Consigned to Hell"

and in the "Resurrection of the Dead,"

Signorelli seems to have adopted unnatural and contrived positions for many of his figures, again to show his skill in representing the human figure.

The ultimate achievement of this sort, however, was brought to perfection by Michelangelo, whose mighty Adam in the Sistine Chapel

seems a direct evolution, artistically, from the Signorelli in Orvieto. In fact, we know that artists of the late 15th century like Michelangelo and Leonardo actively pursued anatomical dissections to perfect their understanding of the human form, as in this drawing by Michelangelo --

and in this anatomical study by Leonardo --

an excellent example of his fascination, both scientific and artistic, with all aspects of nature.

Go on to the next section: From Human Architecture to Architectural Structure

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