Michelangelo vs Da Vinci

Do experts generally consider one better than the other?

Or do we file this under “too close to call”?

I don’t think they are directly comparable. Both were painters. But Michelangelo was also a sculptor, which Da Vinci was not (at least I don’t think he was). And Da Vinci was a scientist and inventor, which Michelangelo was not. So it’s apples and oranges. Or, some other two fruit with a bit of overlap, but a lot of independent stuff on each side.

As a general rule, art experts – whatever that may mean – do not place artists on a chart.

Michelangelo was a better painter and scultpor the Leonardo*
*(The history teacher in me, well I actually teach history, hates Leonardo being called “Da Vinci”)

I don’t mind using Da Vinci as a de facto surname for Leonardo, but be consistent. It should be either “Michelangelo vs Leonardo” or “di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni vs da Vinci”

Anyway, Tim R. Mortiss has it right. Leonardo was a more wide-ranging genius, but Michelangelo’s artistry was, IMHO, much better. And although they’re cool to show off with, nunchucks will lose out to katanas in actual combat.

Leonardo leads.

Michaelangelo is a party dude.

In the past I would have agreed. But in a thread on this dispute, some people produced pretty credible cites that the da Vinci family were early adopters of modern naming conventions. They were using da Vinci as a surname by the time Leonardo was born.

No love for Donatello and Raphael?

In the opinion of someone who is not greatly appreciative of art I’d say Michelangelo wins. Not just from his sculpture, but also in conveying emotion in his art. The people in Michelangelo’s paintings seem so much more alive to me. But I am uncouth, perhaps there’s something in DaVinci’s work I don’t appreciate.

Though he was illegitimate, wasn’t he? So that might mess it up again.

There was some speculation a few years back that the Mona Lisa was a self portrait due to her resemblance to Leonardo. I remember thinking at the time that it could be a much simpler explanation: his father had a lot of kids and a lot of relations, so she could have been a relative (either legally or illegitimately) and borne a resemblance.

At least Leonardo painted women. Michelangelo (usually) painted men and stuck tits on them.

And to those of you who are calling Michelangelo a “painter”, you are greatly insulting the man. He considered himself a sculptor, thank you very much. The painting is just something he was forced to do now and then and something he generally believed to be beneath him.

The individual figures on the Sistine Chapel are not as good as the Last Supper or the Mona Lisa or other LdV’s, but David and the Pieta alone surpass anything Leonardo ever painted in emotional impact and beauty, imho. Though Leonardo was probably the greater intellect due to his scientific and technical skills, though otoh Michelangelo was a fairly acclaimed poet.

I’d have to see them wrestle.

I love Michelangelo’s painting, but let’s face it, his figures don’t look like people. Leonardo’s figures look more like people than good photographs. Leonardo gets the objective win for painting.

Sculpting. Michelangelo is the best sculptor who ever lived. Leonardo did little “sculpting” and loses this category by default.

Architecture. Michelangelo designs St. Peter’s, which is still one of the premier public spaces in the world. Leonardo, not so much.

Military engineering: all Leonardo.

Weird inventions and notebooks: all Leonardo.

Poems: all Michelangelo.

I’ll vote that it is comparing apples and oranges in a still life.

Fun fact: there is a duplicate Mona Lisa that Leonardo painted in a museum in Spain.

Cool! I’m as good as Michaelangelo! :smiley:

Somewhat more seriously, yes, sure they do: the very phrase “lesser masters” is a giveaway. But, certainly, you’re right in that real art experts – even critics – try to avoid one-on-one “who is better” comparisons, because, with the very great artists, their stylistic individuality makes them sui generis.

Also, tastes. I like Caravaggio and Bernini better than Leonardo and Michaelangelo, but that says more about me than about them!

The only objective metric I can think of is effort. How hard would it be for a modern artist to reproduce the Mona Lisa or the statue of David? Or, for instance, wouldn’t you agree that it would be a damn sight harder to reproduce the Pieta than the David? Much more complex, with far more really fine details. But this metric is certainly misleading, as it would value sculpture over painting, oils over watercolors, etc. So…having brought it up…allow me to dismiss it again!

Don’t bring nunchucks to a sword fight. Leonardo wins. Flawless victory.

I’d vote for Michaelangelo. Everyone’s impressed with David, while as only a few are impressed by the Mona Lisa. There’s more bonus stuff in Michaelango’s The Creation of Adam than Leonardo’s Last Supper.

Leo screwed up his fresco technique painting The Last Supper.

Michael painted men with boobs.

Michael has a lot of secondary material that’s good. Leo has some doodles that he made of things that he couldn’t be bothered to try building and perfecting.

[-large.html"]Sculpted 'em, too.](http://www.michelangelo-gallery.org/Tomb-of-Lorenzo-de’-Medici--Dawn-[detail–1)