Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is known mostly by only his first name. He was born in 1475 and died in 1564. He was from Italy and was an artist in multiple mediums including sculpture, painting, and poetry. Michelangelo is often considered one of the best artists of all time. He was definitely considered the best during his time.

Michelangelo was born in Italy and lived there throughout his lifetime. He lost his mother when he was six years old. At that time he went to live with a family that welcomed him and helped form him as a young man. His father sent him to study under Francesco da Urbino in Florence, a humanist, but Michelangelo was not very interested in studying anything other than art and painting. He would go copy what he saw in churches and would also try to find himself in the company of other painters.

Eventually, Michelangelo's father believed in him and requested and persuaded the painter, Domenico Ghirlandaio to pay him as an apprentice. Lorenzo de Medici asked for the painter to send two of his best pupils to him at one point and Michelangelo was sent as one of them. He was commissioned to create sculptures. This brought security and steady work for Michelangelo until Lorenzo died.

At the age of 21, Michelangelo went to Rome. Again he was commissioned to work on a statue. Quickly Michelangelo made a name for himself and was well regarded within his community and beyond for his sculptures. While in Rome, he met Vittoria Colonna who would later become his wife. She was a poet and came from a well-to-do family in Pescara, a region of Italy.

One of Michelangelo's most famous works began as work from someone else. After the fall of the anti-Renaissance movement, Michelangelo was commissioned to finish a marble sculpture that had started 40 years earlier. He finished the project by 1504 and it became known simply as the Statue of David. To this day, the Statue of David is widely known around the world.

The other major work of art that solidified Michelangelo's name in history was his work at the Sistine Chapel. Shortly after Pope II was newly elected, he commissioned Michelangelo to build his tomb. He worked on the tomb for over 40 years. During this time, he also began painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He was commissioned from the Pope after he had begun the work on the tomb. It took four years to complete and changed from the original plans to paint prophets to a painting of the creation, fall, and salvation of man as depicted in the bible.

Although Michelangelo was undoubtedly known for his resounding artistic success, he lived a reclusive life. He never married, was often unkempt and dirty, and had little desire for personal relationships. It is said this has perhaps hindered the growth of other artists who could have served as an apprentice under him. Nonetheless, his contribution to art history is forever ingrained.









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