• Biography •Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (March 6, 1475-February 18, 1564), or simply known as Michelangelo, was a famous Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet. He was born near Arezzo, in Caprese, Tuscany, Italy. His family was considered minor nobility. His father, Lodovico, was the resident magistrate in Carpese. He was raised up in Florence. Even though his father did not agree, he chose to be the apprentice of Domenico Ghirlandaio for three years starting from 1488. Domenico was impressed and so he recommended Michelangelo to Lorenzo de Medici, the ruler of Florence. Michelangelo attended Lorenzo’s school from 1490-1492. This was where he got some of his inspiration and ideas and made two reliefs: Battle of The Centaurs and Madonna of the Steps.
After Lorenzo’s death and when Piero de’ Medici, Lorenzo’s oldest son, took over, his artworks were not supported. He left Florence to settle at Bologna for three years because of these 2 particular reasons: first, his works were not supported; and second, it was the ideas of Savonarola that became popular in Florence. Cardinal San Giorgio purchased Michelangelo’s marble cupid and summoned him to Rome in 1496. He produced the Bacchus and the Pieta with the influence of Roman antiquity. After four years, he then returned to Florence where he produced his marble sculpture, David, and he painted the Holy Family Tree of the Tribune. He was summoned back to Rome under Pope Julius II to work on the Pope’s tomb. He started it but then with many interruptions, he never did finish it after working for 40 years on it. The interruptions were the other tasks he had to finish. One of these and also one of the most famous of these tasks were the monumental paintings on the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, which took four years (1508-1512) to finish.
Pope Leo X, a Medici, commissioned another project in 1513 to reconstruct the basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence. Michelangelo agreed and planned everything reluctantly. Patrons stopped the project before any real progress was made. This was one of the frustrating parts of his career. The project was continued later on but this time Michelangelo made another proposal, which was to make a family funerary chapel in the basilica. It was so started with Michelangelo’s plans. After some events, Michelangelo left Florence for good, leaving assistants to finish the Medici chapel. He then designed the fresco of The Last Judgment on the altar wall of The Sistine Chapel with the commission of Pope Paul III. He worked on it from 1534 to 1541. He then was the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican and designed its dome. On February 18, 1546 he died in Rome at the age of 88.
• Artwork •Pieta
The Pieta is a marble sculpture done by Michelangelo. It has a very realistic depiction of Mother Mary with her dead Child Jesus. It is so realistic that the clothing folds and every other detail are intricately carved.
Another sculpture by Michelangelo, depicting the Bible character David who fought against Goliath. This is another realistic sculpture that uses Michelangelo’s imagination or interpretation of how David would look like.
The Last Judgment
This is Michelangelo’s impression of Judgment Day or the end of the world. Like his other works, it has a religious background. This is a fresco on the Sistine Chapel.