The self-confident humanism which underlay the serenity and the assurance of the High Renaissance evaporated very quickly in the first quarter of the sixteenth century as Italian artists began to flout the very principles of balance and restraint which they themselves had so successfully established. Even Raphael, who died in 1520 before the mood had changed entirely, could not remain unaffected, and his final major work, the Transfiguration (see page 63), indicated an entirely novel concern with the rendering of emotional tension by means of discordant gestures and dramatic chiaroscuro. Michelangelo, of course, survived him for nearly half a century, and in his subsequent development, whether as architect, sculptor, poet or painter, he revealed a personality wholly different from that of the young artist who had first caught the attention of Lorenzo de Medici. In his case the change was brought about by a prolonged and profound spiritual experience, strengthened ultimately by the close friendship of Ignatius Loyola, which led him to repudiate not only the platonic humanism of his youth, but even his own passion for art itself.
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