Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly referred to simply as Michelangelo, was born on March 6, 1475, in the city of Caprese, Italy (Symonds). Through an early artist friend, Michelangelo was able to secure an apprenticeship with painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. It is with Ghirlandio that Michelangelo learned many techniques that would serve him well in the future. These techniques contributed to his enormous success as an artist (Hibbard p16). Michelangelo had a remarkable career as an artist and was recognized highly for his artistic virtuosity. Michelangelo was a renowned painter, sculptor, and architect which made him excel in the field of visual arts, sculpting, and architecture. Many of Michelangelo’s works are known well even still today. Some of these works include the Pieta and David statutes, along with the Sistine chapel’s ceiling paintings. Michelangelo remained a Florentine at heart, but spent most of his lifetime living in Rome where, at the age of 88, he died.
Sculpture during the Renaissance era was considered the finest art form since it imitated divine creation. After Michelangelo relocated to Rome, he had a career breakthrough through the French King Charles VIII’s representative to the pope, Cardinal Lagraulas. In 1497, Cardinal Lagraulas and Michelangelo solidified the plans to create the Pieta which would be one of Michelangelo’s most recognizable sculptures (Bull 39). The Pieta is a sculpture of Mary holding Jesus who was dead on her lap, and it was finished in a few months. The Pieta, which means compassion or pity, created awe among its early spectators. It is claimed that Michelangelo overheard pilgrims say that his piece of art resembled another artist’s sculpture. This claim made Mic…
…zed Classical architectural forms in an expressive manner. Michelangelo was also commissioned to design the Medici Chapel. However, due to falling out with Alessandro Medici, the first Duke of Florence, he left the building unfinished fearing for his life and fled to Rome. He left his assistants to finish the chapel. These buildings have great significance in architectural history.
The life of Michelangelo and his art work has been an inspiration to many artists. Raphael is one of the artists who were influenced by, and imitated Michelangelo’s works. The Baroque ceiling painters were intrigued by the Sistine Chapel because of its inventiveness and architectonic forms. Over the years, the great artist’s works are a source of inspiration and influence to modern artists all over the world since the artist was unique in his expression of art among many other aspects.