1475 - 1564
Painter and sculptor
Michelangelo could possibly be the greatest artist and sculptor who has ever lived. His paintings and sculptures have changed the meaning of art forever.
Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475, in a town near Florence. His mother died by the time Michelangelo was six years old, leaving him to live with his father, a nobleman.
He began to show interest in art and drawing by the age of ten, and became an apprentice by age 12. When Michelangelo was 13 he was set to be an artist. He became a pupil of the great sculptor, Donatello.
As he grew older, Michelangelo became interested in the male nude. Most of his paintings included pictures of nude males, though sometimes just in the background.
Michelangelo lived to the age of 89, and died in 1564.
Michelangelo was a great leader in the Italian Renaissance. His greatest glory, painting the Sistine Chapel, began in 1508, and was completed in 1512. In the beginning, Michelangelo was to paint twelve pictures of the apostles around the outside of the ceiling. Instead of doing so, Michelangelo made another suggestion. He used the central area of the ceiling to paint the history of the Old Testament. It included over 300 figures.
Beginning in 1491, Michelangelo carved Madonna of the Stairs. It took him one year to complete it. Next was the Pieta. It was started in 1498 and finished in 1500. He began Doni Tondo in 1503, taking him two years to complete the painting. In 1534, twenty-three years after the Sistine Chapel was completed, Michelangelo began to paint The Last Judgment, located over the altar at the same church as the Sistine Chapel.
Michelangelo was noted for use of color, light, tone design, and draftmanship. He excelled in architecture, sculture and anatomy.
Michelangelo set standards for sculpting, painting, poetry, and architecture. When sculpting, he always carved from front to back as shown on the unfinished piece, St. Matthew. His paintings were all equally proportioned, with very good perspective. All of his pictures had a 3-D effect to make his figures stand out from the background.
Michelangelo was also a poet and architect, but painting and sculpting were his specialties.
The Last Judgement, painted in 1534
1. Coughlin, Robert. The World of Michelangelo. New York, Time Incorporated, 1970, pp. 9-17.
2. Green, Jen. Michelangelo. London, Aladdin Books Ltd.,
1993, pp. 5-29.
This page was prepared by Robyn and Chrystall, Grade 8, Riverdale Junior Secondary School.