Michelangelo Buonarroti is one of the most famous Italian Renaissance artists. Becoming famous during a time when art was just beginning to flourish, he influenced generations to come and left behind a lasting legacy.
Michelangelo was born on March 6th, 1475 in a small village called Caprese. He was the son of a government administrator and grew up in Florence, which was the center of the early Renaissance movement. Lorenzo de Medici, the ruler of the Florentine republic and a great patron of the arts, saw Michelangelo's talent and took him as his apprentice at the age of 13. With the removal of the Medici family from Florence in 1494, Micehangelo traveled to Bologna and Rome, where he was hired to do many of his first works. His most important early work was the Pieta in 1498, a sculpture that showed the body of Christ in the lap of the Virgin Mary.
What was masterful about this sculpture was that he artfully crafted it out using only a single block of marble. The Pieta sculpture launched Michelangelo's career and became a great success. After that, he was selected to do many more artworks.
But one of his most famous was a monumental statue of the biblical character David for a Florence cathedral. The statue was 17 feet tall and demonstrated the artist's incredible knowledge of the human body and form. What made the David statue so famous was how it looked incredibly lifelike and how its pose looked so natural, not stiff like so many other artists portrayed their subjects in their sculptures. After the completion of David in 1504, Michelangelo's reputation was firmly established.
While Michelangelo created many famous sculptures, he was also known for his frescoes. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of his most famous works. Over the course of four years, Michelangelo painted 12 figures around the border of the ceiling and filled the central space with biblical scenes from Genesis. The most famous Sistine Chapel ceiling painting is The Creation of Adam, in which God and Adam outstretch their hands to one another.
There is no doubt that Michelangelo was one of the most gifted artists of the Renaissance. He left behind many pieces that will always be admired and revered in society. On February 18, 1564, Michelangelo died just weeks before his 89th birthday, at his home in Macel de Corvo, Rome following a brief illness.
History. "Michelangelo - Paintings, Sistine Chapel & David." October 18, 2020, https://www.history.com/topics/renaissance/michelangelo
Biography. "Michelangelo - Sculptures, David, & Paintings." April 27, 2017, https://www.biography.com/artist/michelangelo