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Michelangelo (Michelangelo Buonarroti)

Caprese, Arezzo, Tuscany, 1475 - Rome, 1564

He was apprenticed in 1488 in the workshop of the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio (1448/9-1494) in Florence. The following year he joined the academy of young sculptors in the Medici garden where he probably received instruction from Bertoldo di Giovanni (c. 1430/40-1491). Nevertheless, Michelangelo remained essentially self-taught, enjoying the patronage of Lorenzo the Magnificent until the latter’s death in 1492. Thereafter he returned to his father’s house, before spending another brief period in the Medici household. He left there before the Medici’s expulsion from Florence in 1494, and spent time in Venice and Bologna, returning to Florence in 1495.
Between 1496 and 1501, Michelangelo was in Rome where he sculpted the marble "Pietà" (1497-1500; Rome, St. Peter’s), a work that established his fame as a sculptor. Back in Florence, he secured numerous commissions of importance, including that to execute the colossus, "David" (completed 1504; Florence, Accademia). This coincided with a busy period of artistic activity, which resulted in many unfulfilled or uncompleted commissions: that to execute figures of the twelve Apostles in Florence cathedral resulted in a single unfinished figure -the St. Matthew (Florence, Accademia)- while the plan to fresco the Sala del Gran Consiglio in the Palazzo Vecchio whit a depiction of the "Battle of Cascina" never exceeded its carton. In 1505, Michelangelo was summoned back to Rome by Pope Julius II, for whom he later frescoed the vault of the Sistine Chapel (1508-1512). He later executed the "Last Judgement" on the east wall of the same chapel, and both here and in his frescoes in the Pauline Chapel (1542-1550) elongated forms and artificial coloration anticipate Mannierism.
These Mannerist tendencies are also seen in Michelangelo’s architecture, especially in the vestibule of the Laurentian Library, Florence (1524-1562), commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de' Medici. On the same complex, and for the same family, he had previously designed, and prepared tombs for, the New Sacristy, and designed the façade of S. Lorenzo itself (not executed). From 1546 he directed the rebuilding of St. Peter’s, Rome, and designed its dome.
In all of this, Michelangelo’s influence on others artists was profound. His poetry, first published posthumously in 1623, explores his thoughts on art, love and religion (Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 52).

Artworks (3)

La Flagelación
Oil on panel, XVI century
Miguel Ángel (Discípulo de)
Study of a Man’s Right Arm
Pencil on yellow paper, Second quarter of the XVI century
Miguel Ángel
Study of a man's right shoulder, breast and upper arm
Pencil on yellow paper, 1536 - 1541
Miguel Ángel


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