Michelangelo

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MICHELANGELO

One of the most admired and successful artists of all time is
Michelangelo. Although he was born in Caprese, a small village near Arezzo,
Michelangelo grew up in Florence. His father was Ludovico Buonarroti, a
Florentine official with connections to the ruling Medici family. At the age of thirteen, Michelangelo was placed as an apprentice in the workshop of
Domencio Ghirlandaio. He then studied at the scuplture school in the Medici gardens. He was then invited into the Medici home where he met the two
Medici boys who would later become Popes Leo X and Clement VII.
Michelangelo produced two sculptures while in the House of Medici, the Battle of the Centaurs and the Madonna on the Stairs, both of which were completed between 1489 and 1492.
Michelangelo had several successes in his life of painting, architecture, and sculpting. His first large-scale sculpture was Bacchus. Around the same year of 1498, Michelangelo did the marble Pieta, which he finished before the age of twenty-five and is the only work he ever signed. This sculpture shows a youthful Mary with her dying son Jesus laying across her lap. Mary’s expression is one of resignation rather then grief. Another of his greatest works in the large marble sculpture David, which he produced between 1501 and 1504. The expression on David’s face is termed terribilita, a characteristic of many
Michelangelo’s figures. He was later called back to Rome by Pope Julius II in
1505 for two duties. First, Michelangelo painted the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. For nearly three years Michelangelo painted lying on his back on scaffolding. His second duty was to paint nine scenes from Genesis on the vault of the papel chapel, which include God Separating Light from
Darkness, the Creation of Adam, the Creation of Eve, the Temptation and Fall of
Adam and Eve, and the Flood. Before the assignment of the Sistine Chapel,
Michelangelo had been ordered by Pope Julius II to make the pope’s tomb. He wanted it to be the most magnificent tomb of Christian times. Due to the lack of money, Pope Julius II ordered him to finish the Sistine Chapel. In 1536,
Michelangelo started the Last Judgment for the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel.
The largest fresco of the Renaissance, the project was completed in 1541.
Throughout Michelangelo’s life of painting and sculpting, his crown acheivement as an architect was his work at St. Peter’s Bascilica where he became chief architect in 1546.

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