Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, better known as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. He was born on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Tuscany, Italy, to Lodovico di Leonardo Buonarroti Simoni and Francesca di Neri del Miniato di Siena. Michelangelo was the second of five brothers, and his family lived in Florence, where his father worked as a government administrator.
Michelangelo's childhood was not an easy one, as his mother suffered from poor health and his father was not very supportive of his artistic pursuits. However, he found solace in his passion for art and began studying under the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio at the age of thirteen.
In 1494, Michelangelo moved to the city of Bologna to study sculpture under the tutelage of Niccolò dell'Arca. Later, he returned to Florence and worked for the powerful Medici family, where he was exposed to the classical art of ancient Rome and Greece that greatly influenced his style.
Michelangelo never married, and there is no record of any romantic relationship in his life. However, he did have close friendships with several artists and scholars, including the painter and architect Raphael and the poet Vittoria Colonna.
Michelangelo's workplaces included Florence, Rome, and Carrara, where he worked on various commissions, including the famous statue of David, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and the dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
Many artists influenced Michelangelo throughout his career, including the sculptors Donatello and Verrocchio and the painters Masaccio and Botticelli. Michelangelo was also greatly inspired by the works of ancient Greek and Roman artists, which he studied extensively.
Michelangelo was known for his unique techniques in both painting and sculpture. His style was characterized by the use of dramatic lighting, complex compositions, and an emphasis on human anatomy and form.
Michelangelo's impact on the world of art cannot be overstated. His work represents a pinnacle of artistic achievement, and his innovations in technique and style have had a lasting influence on generations of artists.
Here are Michelangelo's five most important paintings:
The Sistine Chapel Ceiling: Painted between 1508 and 1512, this masterpiece features nine scenes from the book of Genesis, including the Creation of Adam and the Deluge.
The Last Judgment: This fresco, painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, depicts the second coming of Christ and the judgment of the souls of humanity.
The Doni Tondo: This circular painting depicts the Holy Family and is considered one of Michelangelo's most important works in the medium of painting.
The Crucifixion of St. Peter: This fresco, painted in the Cappella Paolina, depicts the martyrdom of St. Peter and is noted for its dramatic lighting and dynamic composition.
The Conversion of Saul: This fresco, painted on the ceiling of the Cappella Paolina, depicts the biblical story of Saul's conversion to Christianity and features Michelangelo's trademark use of light and shadow.