Painting, Visual Artist

1475 – 1564


Who was Michelangelo?

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.

Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and ever since then he has been held to be one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century.

Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. As an architect, Michelangelo pioneered the Mannerist style at the Laurentian Library. At the age of 74 he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter's Basilica. Michelangelo transformed the plan, the western end being finished to Michelangelo's design, the dome being completed after his death with some modification.

Famous Quotes:

  • What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful that the garment with which it is clothed?
  • The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.
  • I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all.
  • Everything hurts.
  • Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle.
  • Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.
  • It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand.
  • Genius is eternal patience.
  • If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.
  • A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.

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Mar 6, 1475
Caprese Michelangelo
Also known as
  • Michelango di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti
  • Catholicism
  • Italy
  • Republic of Florence
Lived in
  • Arezzo
  • Caprese Michelangelo
Feb 18, 1564
Resting place
Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence

on July 23, 2013


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