The works of Michelangelo continue to inspire people centuries after his death. Reputed to be one of the most influential and greatest artist the world has ever known- Michelangelo’s work continue to inspire and amaze people all over the world. Born in March 6. 1475 in Caprese, Tuscany, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was the son of a Florentine government worker.
His family went back to Florence shortly after he was born and at a very young age, Michelangelo grew up loving art. He was sent to grammar school as a young boy, but showed no interest and preferred going to churches to watch painters working on murals and depictions of Biblical characters. This was the time when the Italian Renaissance was taking shape and Florence was one of the period’s bustling art centers. Michelangelo, aged 6, was already starting to develop his artistic talents as a young child when his mother died. Their family business was starting to flourish when Michelangelo’s father took notice that his son was spending most of his time following artists, instead of going to school or take interest in their family business.
Michelangelo’s father did not approve of his son’s inclination towards art, more so establish it as a career and eventually, albeit reluctantly, allowed his son to become an apprentice to painter Domenico Ghirlandaio at the age of 13. This was when people started taking notice of Michelangelo’s raw talent and began to learn sculpture, Fresco styles and draftsmanship. He then was invited to live with Florence’s leading art patron Lorenzo de Medici , where he was being supported to pursue his love for art.
1. The Pieta
In 1498, Michelangelo was working in Rome when he was commissioned by visiting French cardinal Jean Bilheres de Lagraulas, who also represented the Roman Catholic Church as the envoy of the Pope to King Charles VIII.
The cardinal wanted to depict a sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding in her arms the body Jesus Christ. The Pieta, to this day, continues to draw large crowds of people to the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican where it is located up until today – more than 500 years after it was skillfully created by Michelangelo.
In 1501, Michelangelo returned to Florence and was commissioned to create a sculpture for the famous Duomo- the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Michelangelo chose the biblical character of David, because of his exploits as a powerful and spiritual king, from whom the lineage of Jesus Christ was established as a descendant. The 17-foot tall sculpture remains in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, still wowing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
3. The Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Probably known as one of Michelangelo’s finest masterpieces, The Creation of Adam, became the iconic symbol of art in the Christian community. It evoked the emotions and sensitivity of Michelangelo on what he considered as the complexity of the human condition.
Michelangelo also wrote hundreds of poetry and continued to pursue his art career until he died in 1564 at the age of 88, succumbing to illness. Michelangelo will always be regarded as one of the greatest artists in history.