Michelangelo Buonarroti

(1475-1564)
   Michelangelo was born in Caprese near Arezzo, where his father, Simone Buonarroti, was governor. Once Simone's tenure ended, the family returned to their native Florence. Michelangelo, still an infant, was sent to a wet nurse in Settignano, the village of stonecutters where Desiderio da Settignano and the Rossellino brothers were born. Michelangelo used this detail of his life to explain his passion for sculpture. He often joked that he had swallowed the tools of his trade when suckled by his wet nurse. Though his favored activity was sculpting, Michelangelo was also an accomplished painter, architect, and poet. At a young age, he had decided to become an artist. His father was opposed to this as he felt that art, then considered a manual labor, was an activity at odds with their noble status. Eventually, however, Simone gave in and placed the 13-year-old Michelangelo in the workshop of Domenico del Ghirlandaio. A year later, having recognized the boy's talent, Lorenzo "the Magnificent" de' Medici invited him to join the informal sculpture school he set up in his garden. There Michelangelo worked with Bertoldo di Giovanni, a pupil of Donatello. Bertoldo proved to be a nurturing teacher who exposed the boy to the works of his master, as well as Giotto and Masaccio, as surviving sketches by Michelangelo prove. Not only did Michelangelo receive a solid artistic education, but he was also surrounded by the intellectual luminaries that formed part of Lorenzo's court, including the poet Angelo Poliziano and the philosopher Marsilio Ficino.
   Among the works Michelangelo created in these years were his Madonna of the Stairs (1489-1492), begun at the age of 14, and the Battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs (c. 1492), both now in Casa Buonarroti, Florence. These works demonstrate Michelangelo's deep understanding of human anatomy and interest in depicting the male figure in complex poses, with muscles, tendons, and bones responding to pressure and movement. By the time Michelangelo worked on the Battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs, he had already engaged in human dissections at the Hospital of Santo Spirito. In fact, he gave a Crucifixion to the prior of Santo Spirito in gratitude for allowing him to carry out the dissections.
   In 1492, Lorenzo "the Magnificent" died and Michelangelo moved from the Medici household. In 1494, the Medici were exiled from Florence, so Michelangelo took the opportunity to travel to Venice and Bologna where he saw the works of Jacopo della Quercia. These would influence his own work and become the prototypes for some of the scenes in his Sistine ceiling (1508-1512; Vatican). By 1496 he was in Rome, where he executed his Bacchus (1496-1497; Florence, Museo Nazionale del Bargello) and Pietà (1498/1499-1500; Rome, St. Peter's). The first reflects his study of ancient statuary in the Vatican collection. Commissioned by Jacopo Galli, a wealthy Roman nobleman, it was meant for a garden where some contemporaries confused it for an ancient piece. The Pietà Michelangelo executed for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères Lagraulas to be placed in his funerary chapel in St. Peter's. Back in Florence, Michelangelo worked on the Taddei Tondo (c. 1500-1502; London, Royal Academy of Fine Arts) for Francesco Taddei, his famous David (1501-1504; Florence, Accademia) for one of the buttresses of the Cathedral of Florence, and the Doni Tondo (c. 1503; Florence, Uffizi) for Angelo Doni and his wife Maddalena Strozzi, his earliest known painting.
   In 1504-1506, Michelangelo worked alongside Leonardo da Vinci in the Sala del Consiglio (Council Chamber) of the Palazzo Vecchio, where he painted his Battle of Cascina and Leonardo the Battle of Anghiari. The work was left unfinished when he was called back to Rome by Pope Julius II to work on his tomb. By the end of 1516, Michelangelo was back in Florence working on the façade of the Church of San Lorenzo, built in the previous century by Filippo Brunelleschi. He provided a wood model, but in 1520, much to his indignation, the contract he signed for this commission was annulled and instead he was asked to work on the Medici Chapel (New Sacristy) at San Lorenzo (1519-1534). At the same time, he was commissioned by Clement VII, a Medici, to work on the Laurentian Library (1524-1534).
   In 1527, the Medici were again exiled from Florence and Michelangelo resumed work on the Tomb of Pope Julius II. In 1536, he returned to Rome to paint the Last Judgment (1536-1541) in the Sistine Chapel for Pope Paul III, and in 1538 he also worked on the Piazza del Campidoglio (1538-1564). In 1542-1550, he frescoed the Pauline Chapel with the Crucifixion of St. Peter and Conversion ofSt. Paul, and in 1545, he also brought Julius II's tomb to completion after being hounded by the pope's family. In the following year he began work on St. Peter's, a commission he carried out without pay because he thought it would ensure his salvation after death.
   Michelangelo died in 1564 and was buried in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. Hordes of people turned out to pay their final respects to the man who had brought the city much glory. As Giorgio Vasari wrote, Michelangelo reached the pinnacle of artistic accomplishment. He triumphed over nature and surpassed the achievements of the ancients. Though he considered himself primarily a sculptor and believed in its superiority over painting, Michelangelo excelled in every field he tackled.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti — in einem Porträt von Jacopino del Conte Michelangelo Buonarroti [mikeˈlanʤelo bwɔnarˈrɔːti] (* 6. März 1475 in Caprese (im Casentino – oberes Arnotal nördlich von Arezzo), Toskana; † …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti — • Italian sculptor, painter, and architect (1475 1564) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Michelangelo Buonarroti     Michelangelo Buonarroti      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti — (izg. mikelȃnđelo buonaròti) (1475 1564) DEFINICIJA talijanski renesansni kipar, slikar, graditelj i pjesnik, jedan od najvećih likovnih umjetnika svih vremena; freske (Stvaranje svijeta i Sudnji dan u Sikstinskoj kapeli), kiparska djela (David,… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti — Michel Ange Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Naissance 6 mars 1475 Caprese (XVe siècle) Décès …   Wikipédia en Français

  • MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI — (1475 1564)    Michelangelo Buonarroti was born into a prominent Florentine family during the final decades of the early Renaissance. Trained first in painting, which was considered the most elevated of the arts, Michelangelo then turned his… …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti — (1475–1564)    Artist.    Michelangelo was the son of a minor Italian nobleman. He studied both painting and sculpture in Florence and in 1534 he settled permanently in Rome. He was subject to two major influences: on the one hand that of the… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti — noun Florentine sculptor and painter and architect; one of the outstanding figures of the Renaissance (1475 1564) • Syn: ↑Michelangelo • Instance Hypernyms: ↑sculptor, ↑sculpturer, ↑carver, ↑statue maker, ↑old master, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti — n. (1475 1564) Italian artist poet and architect, painter of the Sistine Chapel, sculptor of the marble statue David …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti — Mi|chel|an|ge|lo Bu|o|nar|ro|ti [...ke landʒ̮e... ] (italienischer Künstler) …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti (der Jüngere) — (* 4. November 1568 in Florenz; † 11. Januar 1646 ebenda) war ein italienischer Dichter und Schriftsteller. Leben und Werk Michelangelo der Jüngere war ein Sohn des Leonard di Buonarroti Simoni und der Cassandra di Donato di Vincenzio Ridolfi.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.