Michelangelo By jenny Abrinko

" I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free".


The best of the of the Italian Renaissance.


A man born more than 500 years ago, today is known by name to millions of people. His work is still on display and takes the breath out of all that are fortunate enough to see it . He is truly a genius and a gift to all mankind.

Young Michelangelo

Michangelo's full name was Michangelo di Lodovico Buonarroiti Simoni. He was born on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy, into a family his farher, Leonardo di Bounarrota was in the banking business. He was the second of five sons. His mother's name was Francesca Neri. The family moved to Florence while Michelangelo was still an infant. Michelangelo's mother became very ill and the family could not care for him. He was placed into a family of stone cutters. As he grew up he was interested in watching the painters at nearby churches and drawing what he saw them do. Michelangelo was introduced to painter, Domenico Ghirlandaio. Michelangelo's father realized that his son at the age of 13 was not interested in the family's financial business nor was he interested in school. His father let him be an apprentice to the painter and he worked at the painter's workshop where he learned the technique of fresco. Fresco is a form of mural painting done on wet plaster and the painting becomes part of the wall.

The technique of fresco, permanent painting on the wall

He stayed with the painter for one year and was lucky enough to get to study sculpture. He lived with the powerful Medici family who got him access to the social elite. He then was was able to study under great sculptors. He also got exposed to poets, and scholars. He got special permission from the Catholic Church to study anatomy on corpses. This exposure was responsible for his style of muscular precision and reality.

Michelangelo's anatomical sketches

He had to leave Florence and go to Bologna because of political problems in Florence. He continued to study there. He returned back to Florence in 1495, and began to work as an sculptor. A Cardinal in the Catholic Church saw Michelangelo's work and invited him to go to Rome where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. He died in Rome on February 18th 1564, at the age of 88. His most know. works are his statues "David"and "Pieta" and the ceilings of Rome's Sistine Chapel.

"David" "Pieta" and the Sistine Chapel


Michelangelo's had many accomplishments thoughout his life he was a sculptor, painter and a poet. At the age of 16, he sculpted the "Battle of the Centaurs". It remains unfinished. This was his first time sculpting using a pointed chisel instead of a bow drill.

"Battle of the Centaurs "

"Madonna Seated on a Step" is one of his great works. Mary is seated with crossed legs which indicated a relaxed position. The way her robe winds around her right calf is very unique for that time period of time and is a technique that he used throughout his life.

"Madonna Seated on a Step"

"Pieta" is a sculpture at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome it is the only work that has his name in it. He over heard people saying it was the work of another sculptor so he put his signature in the clothing across Mary's chest. It was so successful that it launched his career.

"David" is a 14 foot marble stature of the biblical hero David. "David" is the most famous statue in the world and it is in Florence, Italy. This work shows his precision to muscular detail and it is so perfect that it appears life like.

The pope hired him to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel it contains 300 figures and it is sixity five feet long. He did it all by himself. Hefinished it on October 31, 1512, he started it in 1491, and it is probably his most well known piece and his biggest accomplishment. When he first planed the project it was only supposed to have the 12 apostles but it was finished as a huge project.

It 1541 his last painting was on the wall of the Sistine Chapel. It was named "Last Judgement". It was the Renaissance's largest plaster fresco painting ever. It showed many naked people on judgement day. Tragically, Michelangelo was forced to paint pants and veils on the naked people in the paintings. This was because people of his time were offended at the nudity. In the 1980's the painting was restored in many of the changes were left out during the restoration.

Michelangelo's " Last Judgement"

He continued to sculpt and paint throughout his life but the work on his back while painting the ceiling took it's toll on Michelangelo and he started working in architecture. He designed the Medici Chapel and the Laurentian Library. These buildings and their style changed architectural style.

Medici Chapel and Laurentian Library

His best architectural work was the design of St. Peter's Basilica. He was the chief architect. It was built in 1546.

St. Peter's Basilica

His attention turned to writing in his later years he wrote more than 300 poems and sonnets. He never married but he was in love with a woman, Vittoria Colonna. He wrote his poems and Sonnets to her.

Connection to the Renaissance

During the Renaissance period Christianity was very important it was a period of rebirth. In art work greek sculpture and painting influences were very important realism was present and analytical accuracy was pronounced. Michelangelo's work fills the definition very well. The influence of Ancient Rome and it's realism was important as well. In art work it paid a lot of attention to detail. The Renaissance started in Italy it is felt that the reason for this was the large number of ancient Roman artifacts present in Italy . Humanism was very important to this style and can be noted by the great deal of detail shown of the faces of people in the art work. Realism and detail were so important and Michelangelo achieved this like no other painters. He was allowed to study anatomy by dissecting corpses and learning anatomy in great detail and great accuracy.

Significance/ Life Lessons

Michelangelo was a genius. When reading his famous quotes he mentioned that his work would not be considered great if people knew the effort and enormous time he put into it to obtain the finish product. Michelangelo had humility. For him to think that people would not accept his work as nothing but pure masterpieces shows that he is humble approachable and not consumed with himself.

This is a great trait and we all be better people if we try to be humble and not and not to focus on ourselves.

Michelangelo stated that he put enormous time into his work to achieve near perfection in detail. We all need to always do our best and not take the easy way out and put time and effort in everything we do.


Michelangelo Biography, Stories, and Anecdotes by Tom Brown

The Renaissance a history from beginning to end by the hourly history


Created By
Jenny Abrinko

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