biography on michelangelo
“Trifles make perfections, and perfection is no trifle,” Michelangelo once stated. He is
one of the greatest artists of all time and is unmatched by any other. Michelangelo is the creator of works of sublime beauty that express the full breadth of human condition.
Yet, he was caught between conflicting powers and whims of his patrons, the Medici’s of Florence and Papacy’s in Rome.
Michelangelo was born on the sixth of March in 1475, the second of five brothers in a
small town called Caprese, in Tuscany. He always considered himself to be a Florentine, as did his father. Francesca Neri, his mother, was sick and frail. As a result, he stayed with a nurse in a family of stonecutters. It was there that Michelangelo decided he wanted to become an artist. When he turned thirteen, he agreed to apprentice in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio. After one year of learning the art of fresco, he went on to study at the sculpture school at the Medici gardens. They saw his talent and he was invited into the household of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
During the years that he spent in the Garden of San Marco, Michelangelo began to study human anatomy. He would perform autopsies on the corpses and study the muscles and bones in order to perfect his sculptures. In exchange for permission to study corpses at a church that administered a hospital, the prior received a wooden crucifix from Michelangelo. His contact with the dead bodies caused some problems with his health.
By the time he was sixteen, Michelangelo had produced at least two relief sculptures,
the Battle of the Centaurs and the Madonna of the Stairs. These showed that he achieved
a personal style at a young age. Michelangelo went to Rome, where he examined many
classical statues and ruins that had been newly unearthed. In 1496, he produced his first large-scale sculpture, Bacchus. Following Bacchus, he did the marble Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Pieta was probably one of the most famous works that he finished before he was twenty-five years old. It was said that after it was placed in St. Peter’s, Michelangelo heard a pilgrim say that another artist did the work from Lombard.
In a fit of rage, he took a hammer and chisel and on the sash that runs across Mary’s breast inscribed “Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, made this”. It was the only work that he ever signed. Michelangelo’s temper was proverbial, his character difficult, touchy, stubborn, and he often had difficulties in relations with others.
After returning to Florence, Michelangelo produced the gigantic fourteen-foot marble
David which he worked on for four years. The...