Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today In History; Michelangelo, Italian Renaissance Artist

1475: The Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was the son of a government administrator. Michelangelo's artistic talent emerged at a young age, and he was taken into the household of Lorenzo de' Medici (Lorenzo the Magnificent), where he studied scuplting under Bertoldo di Giovanni. His early pieces demonstrated his mastery, and he received increasing numbers of commissions from Florence and other city-states, as well as from the Vatican. In his famous Pietà, which is in St Peter's Basilica in Rome, he solved the problem posed by the subject matter: to lay the full-sized body of Jesus in His mother's arms without creating an awkward image. The sculpture's grace and poignancy bear witness to Michelangelo's artistic and technical skill. He returned to Florence to create another of his masterpieces, the David, which stands over fourteen feet tall. Among his most famous works are his frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Although best remembered as an artist, Michelangelo was also an architect and an accomplished poet, publishing more than three hundred poems.

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