Biography of Michelangelo

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Michelangelo Buonarrati
Alex Moir/3-15-00
Per.3/Mr. Mikulec

The typical stereotype of artists of the past, is a lonely, tormented outsider, who creates his art through his pain and anguish. Well Michelangelo was just that. In fact the stereotype is modeled after him. He was an unsociable loner who didn't have many friends, lovers, or even assistants to help him. His temper and rudeness drove others away from him and kept him lonely. However, even though he was not the most likeable or social guy, he still produced some of the most amazing artwork ever! In fact, although he was lonely and tortured, out of all the artists to have ever lived, Michelangelo Buonarrati is one of the most prominent ever, and possibly the best.

Although Michelangelo was born March 6 1475 in Caprice, Tuscany, his dad and himself always considered him a "son of Florence". He was born of Ludovicio Buonarroti, his father, and Francesca Neri, his mother. However, Michelangelo never mentioned or credited his mother, for she was too sick and frail to nurse him and died when he was only six. As a result he was placed with a wet Nurse in a family of stone cutters. This is where he had his first dreams of being an artist. Because Michelangelo had a grim and unaffectionate childhood, he tended to keep to himself and created a lack of trust with his peers. Nonetheless, his father recognized his intelligence and sent him to the school of Francesco Galeoto. While there, he studied Latin principles and made friends with Francesco Granacci, who convinced him to follow his own artistic vocation. He then apprenticed under Domencio Ghirlandaio at the age of thirteen after learning the art of fresco. A year later he at the sculpture school in the Medici gardens and soon after was invited to the household of Lorenzo de' Medici, the "Magnificent". There he met two younger Medici who would later become Pope Leo X and Pope Clement VII( He also produced his first sculpting, "The Rape of Dejanira"(Benets's) During his years of study at the gardens of San Marco, he studied human movement and anatomy, from corpses. By the age of sixteen he had already produced two relief sculptures, "The Battle of the Centaurs" and "The Madonna of the Stairs". Both of which exhibited his own personal style that he was developing.

After the death of Lorenzo, Michelangelo moved to Rome to study ruins and unearthed classical statues. He did this because Savonarola, the new head of Florence, had created stricter laws on art and burned anything that was considered incompatible with the faith. Then from 1496-1498, while in Rome, he produced "Bacchus", his first large scale sculpture and one of his few pagan works. At about the same time, he also produced one of his most famous works of art, the "Pieta", which was finished before he was 25. In the "Pieta" he shows his influences from fifteenth century artists such as Donatello, while also combining them with the new Renaissance style(cgfa). It depicts the Virgin Mary seated majestically holding the dead Christ across her lap. Furthermore, this is his only signed piece of work ever. And is so because he overheard a pilgrim say that Cristoforo Solari created it. So that night in a fit of rage, Michelangelo inscribed "MICHEL ANGELUS BONAROTUS FLORENT FACIBAT", saying " Michelangelo Buonarrati, Florentine, made this". Although he later resented this and swore to never sign any of his work again.

In 1501 a republic was once again brought to Florence, which received Michelangelo's full support. Twelve days after the republic was formed, the Arte della Lana or wool guild commissioned Michelangelo to sculpt a statue of David. The masterpiece that he produced from 1501-1504 was a very Greek or Romanesque style, except for its large size and angry defiant facial expressions(scholastic art). Michelangelo expressed his patriotic feelings through David and also used him as a model of...
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