Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo.


(1475 - 1564)

Born in Florence in 1475, Michelangelo at the age of thirteen became apprentice to the city’s leading painter, Domenico Ghirlandaio, through whom he met his future patron Lorenzo de’ Medici. Michelangelo rose to prominence as a sculptor with his Pietà of 1498 and his David of 1504; he was the first living artist to have a biography written about him, by Giorgio Vasari. Over a nearly eighty-year career, Michelangelo was celebrated as the greatest of living artists, a reputation only slightly diminished by the passing of centuries. Giorgio Vasari called him “a spirit endowed with universality of power in each art, and in every profession, one capable of showing by himself alone what is the perfection of art.”

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Before Michelangelo’s David was placed in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria in 1504, Leonardo argued the nude sculpture needed “a decent ornament” and sketched it with underpants inked on. David was later fitted with a prim brass girdle sustaining twenty-eight copper leaves. It remained for at least forty years. 

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1521 | Florence


Michelangelo’s daddy issues.More


Lorenzo de’ Medici once observed a young sculptor complete the head of an old and wrinkled faun whose mouth he had rendered open. While astonished at the craftsmanship, Lorenzo pointed out that old men never have all their teeth. Once the great patron of the arts had left, the artist knocked out one of the teeth; when Lorenzo returned and saw the statue again, he was so taken with the new version that he decided to adopt the artist, whose name was Michelangelo.

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