Biography of Famous Italian Sculptor and Artist Michelangelo Part 1
About the famous Italian sculptor and artist Michelangelo, biography and history of his sculptures.
Michelangelo (1475-1564). Michelangelo Buonarroti, placed by time and fate at the core of the Italian Renaissance, proved to be its most prolific and admired artist. He lived to 89 and was active more than 70 of those years; born before Da Vinci had even become famous, he survived into the Baroque era. Of the thousands of artists who flourished during his lifetime, there were few who were not influenced by him. Whenever the Renaissance style is revived, Michelangelo's works are the inspiration. They ranged from the marble Pieta in St. Peter's Church (Rome), his 1st important sculpture, to the plans for the church itself, to the celebrated Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted while lying prone on a scaffold.
Michelangelo was born March 6, 1475, in the small town of Caprese. His father was a minor nobleman. Turning his back on his family's demands for a more respectable career, he enrolled as an apprentice painter at the studio of Ghirlandaio in Florence. Michelangelo may have taken part in painting the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella, on which Ghirlandaio was engaged. On leaving Ghirlandaio, Michelangelo joined the Medici group of artists. It is believed Lorenzo de' Medici commissioned him to do the Centaurs relief now at the Bargello in Florence. In 1494, still but 19 years old, Michelangelo went to Bologna and executed carvings for the tomb of St. Dominic. By 1496 he was in Rome, where he created his famed Bacchus (now in the Bargello) and Pieta. The Pieta contract was drawn up on August 27, 1498. The work was probably completed in 1500. It was Michelangelo's only signed sculpture--signed, it is thought, from fear of nonrecognition.
Returning to Florence in 1501, he built the large statue of David that has become a symbol of Renaissance sculpture. It stands 18' high and is anatomically perfect. At the same time he was commissioned for other works. His reputation had spread so far that an order for a madonna came from Bruges in Flanders. But dark moments lay ahead.
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