Michelangelo By Melissa Rymaszewski

Synopsis

Michelangelo di Lodovoco Buonarroti Simoni, also known as Michelangelo, was born March 6, 1475 in Caprese, Italy near Florence. Most of his life was spent in Rome until he died there in 1564. The Renaissance artist was known to be ambitious, religious, and bad tempered. Some famous works of his include "Pieta", "David", and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. His art is still admired today as it was in his time.

Childhood

Michelangelo had a difficult childhood. His father was very stern and demanding. When he was only 6 years old, his mother passed away. Because of this, he stayed with a family of stonecutters for a while and developed his interest in stonecutting. As a child he especially liked watching people painting.

Training

When Michelangelo was 13, he became the apprentice to a painter in Florence. Later on he lived with the Medicis from 1489-1492. He studied sculptures during his time there. He learned many new techniques while he studied under poets, humanists, and scholars. The church even let him look at dead bodies in order to learn more about anatomy.

"Pieta"

The "Pieta" is a sculpture created by Michelangelo when he was 25 years old. It is a depiction of Mary mourning over Jesus' death as she holds Jesus' dead body across her lap. It took Michelangelo over a year to complete. The sculpture, carved from carrara marble, stands 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Michelangelo even included his signature on Mary's sash.

"David"

Michelangelo's "David" was carved from marble and stands 17 feet tall. He was 26 years old when he finished this two year long project, starting around 1501 and ending around 1504. It reflects ideal male beauty and the ideas of humanists. The statue expresses the intensity of a youth going into battle.

The Sistine Chapel's Ceiling

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the Pope's chapel in Rome, was painted by Michelangelo. He originally had assistants, but he later fired them and painted the 65 foot ceiling alone. He painted the curved ceilings with scenes from the Bible. He finished on October 31, 1512 after four years of painting on a tall platform.

Review

Michelangelo died on February 18, 1564 at age 88 in his home in Macel de'Corvi, Rome. Although he is gone, his legacy lives on through his works including "Pieta", "David", and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Often called the "father and master of all the arts," he was a great artist, sculptor, poet, and architect. His artworks continue to influence and inspire artists today.

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