MICHELANGELO One of the most admired and successful artists of all time is Michelangelo. Although he was born in Cap rese, a small village near Arezzo, Michelangelo grew up in Florence. His father was Ludovico Buonarroti, a Florentine official with connections to the ruling Medici family. At the age of thirteen, Michelangelo was placed as an apprentice in the workshop ofDomencio Ghirlandaio. He then studied at the school in the Medici gardens. He was then invited into the Medici home where he met the two Medici boys who would later become Popes Leo X and Clement VII.

Michelangelo produced two sculptures while in the House of Medici, the Battle of the Centaurs and the Madonna on the Stairs, both of which were completed between 1489 and 1492. Michelangelo had several successes in his life of painting, architecture, and sculpting. His first large-scale sculpture was Bacchus. Around the same year of 1498, Michelangelo did the marble Pieta, which he finished before the age of twenty-five and is the only work he ever signed. This sculpture shows a youthful Mary with her dying son Jesus laying across her lap.

Mary's expression is one of resignation rather then grief. Another of his greatest works in the large marble sculpture David, which he produced between 1501 and 1504. The expression on David's face is termed, a characteristic of many Michelangelo's figures. He was later called back to Rome by Pope Julius II in 1505 for two duties.

First, Michelangelo painted the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. For nearly three years Michelangelo painted lying on his back on scaffolding. His second duty was to paint nine scenes from Genesis on the vault of the paper chapel, which include God Separating Light from Darkness, the Creation of Adam, the Creation of Eve, the Temptation and Fall of Adam and Eve, and the Flood. Before the assignment of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo had been ordered by Pope Julius II to make the pope's tomb. He wanted it to be the most magnificent tomb of Christian times. Due to the lack of money, Pope Julius II ordered him to finish the Sistine Chapel.

In 1536, Michelangelo started the Last Judgment for the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel. The largest fresco of the Renaissance, the project was completed in 1541. Throughout Michelangelo's life of painting and sculpting, his as an architect was his work at St. Peter's Basilica where he became chief architect in 1546. Michelangelo is ultimately responsible for the completion of the altar end of the building on the outside of the chapel and the final form of the dome.

Michelangelo painted in a time that was with great artwork. He was one of the most influential people of the High Renaissance, along with the father of the High Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci. Michelangelo was a realist, as seen in his sculptures and paintings. A personal favorite is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I think that Michelangelo was the backbone on which all other artists and sculptors after him based their works.