Biography of Famous Italian Sculptor and Artist Michelangelo Part 2

About the famous Italian sculptor and artist Michelangelo, biography and history of his sculptures.

Michelangelo (1475-1564).

In 1504 he was appointed by the Signoria of Florence to paint a battle scene for the Council Hall, in collaboration with Da Vinci. But the 2 disliked working together, there were technical problems, and it was never finished. The following year Pope Julius II hired Michelangelo to design a tomb, but it too remained undone when artist and pontiff had a falling out. Michelangelo went back to Florence; Pope Julius summoned him to return to Rome; the artist refused. For 2 years he stayed away from Rome, spending part of the time at Bologna. Pope Julius was willing to make amends. He gave Michelangelo a new task, painting decorations on the ceiling of his new Sistine Chapel. In less than 3 years it was completed, and once again Michelangelo was in favor. "Il divino" he was called by the Romans. And they meant it.

Though now hailed as a painter, he did not abandon sculpture. In fact he turned to it more and more, and to architecture. The Medici sought him out to design the Bibliotheca Laurenziana. Begun in 1524 this majestic structure was completed many years later by Ammanati. In the Medici Chapel, Michelangelo sculpted the tombs of Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici.

He continued working for the Medici until 1534, when he decided to settle in Rome and take papal commissions. Though perhaps not so exciting, this was more secure. Florence was a hotbed of political unrest; the Medici had been officially expelled in 1527 and a war resulted. At Rome, work still remained to be done. Thirty years after he had painted its ceiling, Michelangelo was again busy in the Sistine Chapel, adding his Last Judgment painting to the wall. Other works of this late period in his life include frescoes in the Cappella Paolina made at the request of Pope Paul III, and his efforts to design St. Peter's Church. He was 71 when given the position of chief architect of St. Peter's. Though he lived another 18 years, the work progressed so slowly that it was left unfinished at his death and new designs were prepared thereafter.

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