1475 - 1564
Michelangelo was the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance, and one of the greatest sculptors of all time who was able to create life from a cold stone.
Michelangelo was born in Caprese, Italy. As a boy he was placed in the care of a stonemason at Settignano, and in 1488 spent three years in Florence. He received the patronage of Lorenzo de Medici, and after his death (1492) spent three years in Bologna. After four years in Rome he returned to Florence.
Michelangelo was a visionary painter, and a supreme sculptor, his most famous piece the marble 'David' in Florence.
In 1503 Pope Julius II summoned him back to Rome, where he was commissioned to design the pope's tomb; but interruptions and bickerings left him able to complete only a fragment. Instead, he was ordered to decorate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with paintings (1508-12).
His last pictorial achievement was 'The Last Judgement'. As an old man, Michelangelo concentrated on the plans for Saint Peter's Church in Rome. (Many great domes in the world were copied from his plans.)
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Pictures of Sculptures