Born to a Florentine family in the small Tuscan town of Caprese (today known as Caprese Michelangelo), he went on to create some of the world’s greatest masterpieces in sculpture, painting and architecture.
Michelangelo’s David is considered as the most magnificent statue -if not artwork- ever made. It is today housed in Florence’s Accademia Gallery. Another of Michelangelo’s greatest works is the Pietà, in the St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Michelangelo originally carved the Pietà to adorn the tomb of French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, however it was moved to the Basilica where it sits today. He also worked on the design of St. Peter’s Basilica itself. Then there is the breathtaking frescos adorning the Sistine Chapel, and much more.
Working during the Renaissance, Michelangelo was one of the most well-respected artist of his time amongst his contemporaries (even if at times it was more for his work than his diplomacy). Indeed, two biographies were written about this great Renaissance artist during his lifetime, including one by Giorgio Vasari (of Vasari Corridor fame, among other things).
Michelangelo’s work even inspired a whole art movement, Mannerism, which followed directly on from the Renaissance. Michelangelo’s work greatly inspired Mannerism particularly through his depiction of grandeur or, terribilità, as well as rousing centuries of artists (and even a few of our tour guides) into their chosen fields.
Thanks to his penchant for putting things to paper, a lot of documentation remains that give us great insights into the life of Michelangelo. These include a vast body of sketches, correspondence and even poems.
Despite having accrued significant financial wealth during his lifetime, Michelangelo preferred to live quite a poor life. It is known that he was not exactly the most social person. However many of the poems he penned were declarations of love.
Whilst you don't want to skip seeing this masterpiece, you may want to skip the longest lines to enter. Book ahead for the fastest entry possible.
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