You are on page 1of 3


27 March 2011 Michelangelo: One of the Best Artists of the Renaissance Michelangelo Buonarroti was born [on March 6, 1475] at Caprese, a village in Florentine territory, where his father, named Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni was the resident magistrate. A few weeks after Michelangelo's birth the family returned to Florence, and, in 1488, after overcoming parental opposition he was formally apprenticed to Domenico Ghirlandaio [, the most fashionable painter in Florence at the time,] for a term of three years (Web Gallery). Considered a master of the High Renaissance, Michelangelo was an architect, poet, painter, and engineer. He studied anatomy in order to perfect his work in painting and sculpting the human body and its movement. His studies proved to be fruitful and visible in all his sculptures and paints. He was one of the greatest painters of the Renaisssance who owed his early career to the foresight of Lorenzo de'Medici. Brought into the Medici home at the age of 13, the boy-genius was raised amongst future princes and popes and absorbed cutting-edge intellectual theories (PBS). After the death of Lorenzo de Medici in 1942, the Medici family fell from power and Michelangelo fled to Bologna. In 1494 he carved three saints for the church of San Domenico. They show dense forms, in contrast to the linear forms which were then dominant in sculpture (Encyclopedia). Michelangelo produced remarkable pieces after that, including David, and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. David, which was sculpted out of a gigantic block of Carrara marble that no other sculptor had dared to tackle (Fiero 66), was finished in 1504, two years after Michelangelo started the job. It was a symbol of Florentine vigilance (Fiero 66). Installed outside the

Palazzo Vecchio, this remarkable statue of the proud slayer of Goliath instantly became a symbol of the city, and challenged the power of the overbearing Medici (PBS). It took Michelangelo four years to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, a work commissioned in 508 by Pope Julius II. The ceiling spanned more than 3,200 square feet (PBS) and there, using scaffolds 70 feet above ground, Michelangelo covered the ceiling with 300 figures and stories from the Bible, including the creation of Earth and the stars, the Great Flood, and the creation of Adam. His monumental figures were based on fragments of classical sculptures, and inspired by the perfection and beauty of the ancient world. The frescoes in the Sistine Chapel were arguably the greatest works of Renaisssance art (PBS). Michelangelo produced many more extraordinary pieces, like the Pieta, and for all his work he is recognized as one of the best artists of the Renaissance.

Works Cited Fiero, Gloria K. The Humanistic Tradition Book 3 The European Renaissance, the Reformation, and Global Encounter. 6th ed. McGraw-Hill College, 2011. Print.

---. The Humanistic Tradition, Book 4 Faith, Reason, and Power in the Early Modern World. 6th ed. McGraw-Hill College, 2011. Print.

"Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance . Renaissance . Michelangelo | PBS." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 27 Mar. 2011. <>.

"Michelangelo Biography - Life, Family, Childhood, Death, Mother, Young, Son, Old, Information, Born." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web. 26 Mar. 2011. <>.

"Michelangelo Buonarroti - Biography." Web Gallery of Art, Image Collection, Virtual Museum, Searchable Database of European Fine Arts (1000-1850). Web. 26 Mar. 2011. <>.