Michelangelo Lives Again Thanks to Artificial Intelligence
The Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore commissioned Michelangelo two of his most celebrated masterpieces the DAVID and ST. MATTHEW and preserves one of his three PIETÀS in its Museum
More than 500 years after his birth (6 March 1475), Michelangelo “lives again”, and is ready to answer your questions! This is not fake news, but a joint project of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral Foundation), and Querlo, Customized Artificial Intelligence Solutions based in New York, who for the first time ever have realized a virtual Michelangelo, using Artificial Intelligence technology.
MICHELANGELO AI is an educational tool available to all who want to know something about the art, life and thought of the greatest Renaissance artist. Anyone can ask him questions (his language is now English) at https://duomo.firenze.it/it/home by clicking on the button MICHELANGELO AI or at https://www.querlo.com/michelangelo.
In turn, MICHELANGELO AI will learn from these conversations, continually increasing his range of knowledge. The contents of MICHELANGELO AI were assembled by a team of art historians at the Florence Cathedral Museum (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo), under the guidance of the Museum’s Director, Timothy Verdon.
The roots of this project are in the seven-century long history of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the institution that in the early 16th century commissioed Michelangelo’s early masterpieces, David and St. Matthew, and whose museum conserves Michelangelo’s Bandini Pietà, one of his three versions of that subject. MICHELANGELO AI is also designed to familiarize visitors with the monuments for which the Cathedral Foundation is responsible involving the public in the Foundation’s restoration projects, among which, in the near future, cleaning and reconsolidation of the thousand meters of 13th-century mosaics in the Baptistery.
The Michelangelo created by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and Querlo is deeply Florentine: now in heaven, he looks back on his earthly life and underlines the importance for his art, his thought, his spirituality, of the experience of his formative years in Florence. He often mentions Donatello, the early Renaissance artist he most admired, and Ghiberti and Luca della Robbia, and recalls that his first public commissions were for the Cathedral, for which they too had done fundamental works.
The idea of MICHELANGELO AI was born in the COVID-19 period. “The global travel restrictions have had a devastating impact”, said Timothy Verdon, Director of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, “making it impossible for people to visit special cities like Michelangelo’s Florence. Bringing the famous artist back to life reduces the distance, allowing virtual visitors to draw near to one of the great spirits of our civilization - to dialogue with him on art and life, and through him discover a different equilibrium, one that is ‘ancient’ and, for 21st-century women and men, also ‘new’.”
For Francesco Rulli, CEO of Querlo LLC: “This is a dream come true. Exploiting the potential of personalized Artificial Intelligence we have been able to capture Michelangelo’s ‘spirit’, offering everyone the chance to interact personally with this master artist of the Renaissance and to know and contribute to the Florence Cathedral Foundation’s work in restoring and preserving its heritage.