- NAME: Michelangelo
- OCCUPATION: Architect, Painter, Sculptor, Poet
- BIRTH DATE: March 06, 1475
- DEATH DATE: February 18, 1564
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Caprese (Republic of Florence), Italy
- PLACE OF DEATH: Rome, Italy
- Full Name: Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
- AKA: Michelangelo Buonarroti
- Nickname: "Father and Master of All the Arts"
- AKA: Michelangelo
Best Known For
Michelangelo is widely regarded as the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance. Among his works are the David and Pieta statues and the Sistine Chapel frescoes.
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A short biography of Michelangelo, one of the greatest artistic geniuses who ever lived. His works are numerous, and include The David, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and the Pieta.
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The resulting masterpiece is a transcendent example of High Renaissance art incorporating the Christian symbology, prophecy and humanist principles that Michelangelo had absorbed during his youth. The vivid vignettes of Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling produce a kaleidoscope effect, with the most iconic image being the Creation of Adam,
a portrayal of God touching the finger of man. Rival Roman painter Raphael evidently altered his style after seeing the work.
Although he continued to sculpt and paint throughout his life, the physical rigor of painting the chapel had taken it’s toll on Michelangelo, and he soon turned his focus toward architecture.
Michelangelo continued to work on the tomb of Julius II for the next several decades. He also designed the Medici Chapel and the Laurentian Library -- located opposite the Basilica San Lorenzo in Florence -- to house the Medici book collection. These buildings are considered a turning point in architectural history. But Michelangelo's crowning glory in this field came when he was made chief architect of St. Peter's Basilica in 1546.
Michelangelo unveiled the soaring Last Judgment on the far wall of the Sistine Chapel in 1541. There was an immediate outcry -- that the nude figures were inappropriate for so holy a place, and a letter called for the destruction of the Renaissance's largest fresco. The painter retaliated by inserting into the work new portrayals: Of his chief critic as a devil and himself as the flayed St. Bartholomew.
Though Michelangelo's brilliant mind and copious talents earned him the regard and patronage of the wealthy and powerful men of Italy, he had his share of detractors. He had a contentious personality and quick temper, which led to fractious relationships, often with his superiors. This not only got Michelangelo into trouble, it created a pervasive dissatisfaction for the painter, who constantly strived for perfection but was unable to compromise.
He sometimes fell into spells of melancholy, which were recorded in many of his literary works: "I am here in great distress and with great physical strain, and have no friends of any kind, nor do I want them; and I do not have enough time to eat as much as I need; my joy and my sorrow/my repose are these discomforts," he once wrote.
In his youth, Michelangelo had taunted a fellow student, and received a blow on the nose that disfigured him for life. Over the years, he suffered increasing infirmities from the rigors of his work; in one of his poems, he documented the tremendous physical strain that he endured by painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Political strife in his beloved Florence also gnawed at him, but his most notable enmity was with fellow Florentine artist Leonardo da Vinci, who was more than 20 years his senior.
Michelangelo's poetic impulse, which had been expressed in his sculptures, paintings and architecture, began taking literary form in his later years.
Although he never married, Michelangelo was devoted to a pious and noble widow named Vittoria Colonna, the subject and recipient of many of his more than 300 poems and sonnets.
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