Michelangelo Buonarroti is one of the most famous sculptor, painter, architect and poet during the High Renaissance. He is most famous for his sculpture of David and his fresco painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo led a very interesting life and had a huge impact on art as we see it today. Michelangelo was considered a contributor of the Mannerism movement. Mannerism is defined as “ an art style in late 16th century Europe characterized by spatial incongruity and excessive elongation of the human figures (8). His artwork brought a different style to this time period. What once was a more conservative style became a more humanistic style which Michelangelo often depicted with nudity.
Michelangelo was born as Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni on March 6, 1475 near Arezzo, in Caprese Italy (2). He was the second of five brothers born to Ludovico di Leonardo di Buonarotto Simoni and Francesca Neri. Although he was born in Caprese he considered himself “son of Florence” (3). Michelangelo’s mother died when he was only six years old. Even before she died, his childhood “had been grim and lacking in affection, and he was always to retain a taciturn disposition (3)”. His father began to realize that he was very intelligent and sent him to the school of a master, Francesco Galeota, who taught grammar. During this time, Michelangelo studied the principles of Latin. He made friends with Francesco Granacci, a student who was six years older than him, who was studying the art of painting. It was Granacci who encouraged Michelangelo to follow his own artistic vocation. Michelangelo’s father was obsessed with preserving the little fortune they had. He had hoped that with Michelangelo’s studies he could become a successful merchant or businessman. This would secure the Buonarroti’s positon in society. Michelangelo’s father was shocked when he took a different route and decided to be the apprentice of Domenico Ghirlandaio for three years starting
in 1488 (2). His father finally agreed on the terms that if the apprenticeship didn’t work after the three years that he would return to studies and take over the family business (4). After apprenticing for a year, Michelangelo went on to study sculpture in the Medici gardens. He studied under Lorenzo de’ Medici from 1490 to 1492. During this time he created two pieces: Battle of the Centaurs and Madonna of the Steps. Both were relief sculptures (2). During this time he also began to study human anatomy. In exchange for permission to study corpses, which was strictly forbidden by The Church, the prior of the church of Santo Spirito, Niccolo Bichiellini, received a wooden Crucifix from Michelangelo. The contact with the corpses, however, made Michelangelo very ill and he had to stop.
A critical period in Michelangelo’s career came when Lorenzo the Magnificent died. His death had...