11.His education was handled by two thinkers and philosophers, Marsilio Ficino, the Athenian school founder in Florence and one of the most famous figures of the early Renaissance, and Count Giovanni della Mirandola.
Michelangelo, then seventeen years old, created the bas-reliefs Madonna at the Stairs and Battle of the Centaurs. These two reliefs are now in the Casa Buonarroti in Florence.
12.Two years later, while in Bologna, he carved a candelabrum in the form of a kneeling naked angel and statues of saints: Petronius and Proculius, San Domenico.
Michelangelo left the Medici Palace after the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent. He returned to his family home and worked on a sculpture of Hercules (this work was lost in the 18th century).
13.Wanting to learn more about human anatomy, he secretly performed autopsies in the hospital (Santo Spirito Monastery).
As a token of his gratitude, Michelangelo carved a wooden crucifix for the monastery, which is the only polychrome wooden sculpture in the artist's oeuvre.
14.Michelangelo left Florence for Rome in 1496.
He had previously been commissioned by his cousin Lorenzo the Magnificent to produce a sculpture of a sleeping Cupid. Since the work had all the characteristics of an ancient statue, Lorenzo's cousin persuaded Michelangelo to have it patinated.
The "antique" work thus prepared was sold to merchants and made its way to Rome. There, Raphael Riario, the titular cardinal of San Giorgio al Velabro, an art connoisseur and protector of artists, bought the Cupid. The cardinal found out that the sculpture was made in Florence. Thanks to this event, Michelangelo found himself in Rome, where he completed other commissions, including the statue of Bacchus, another version of Cupid and the Vatican Pieta.
15.At his father's request, Michelangelo returned to Florence, where he undertook the statue of David.
The statue stood in front of the palace of the Signoria of Florence. During this time, he also created the sculpture of the Madonna and Child, which was initially intended for Siena Cathedral but was eventually bought by a Bruges merchant and sent there. It was one of the few Michelangelo sculptures sold abroad during the artist's lifetime in Italy.
16.Michelangelo created several works for the Florence Cathedral.
These included statues for the Piccolomini Altarpiece and twelve statues of the apostles. He was also offered to decorate a wall in the Palazzo Vecchio, opposite to a battle painting begun and not completed by Leonardo da Vinci.
17.Michelangelo worked for seven popes in Rome.
The first of these was Julius II, for whom Buonarroti began a tomb that was to consist of about 40 statues. However, he was forced to interrupt this work to make a bronze statue of the Pope in Bologna. After a few years, he returned to work on Julius II's tomb. Between 1508 and 1512, he worked on the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
18.Michelangelo loved Florence, but his most exciting assignments were in Rome.
He was eager to take advantage of them because he felt it would enhance his position as a well-known and admired artist. He craved greatness, recognition, and fame, but behaved as if it did not interest him. He came into conflict with the Pope, became offended, failed to meet deadlines for completing his work, threw out his assistants, and did not care for himself at all. He was also an angry and violent man. He had a reputation for being a problematic and controversial artist. And yet, even during his lifetime, he attained the position of a master, revered, esteemed, an outstanding and unique person.
19.He was painting the Last Judgment on the Sistine Chapel's altar wall from 1534 to 1541.
As a young man, Michelangelo was greatly impressed by the sermons of Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican monk from the monastery of San Marco in Florence. Under these sermons' influence, a powerful conflict arose in him between passion and joy of creation and humility and asceticism. Savonarola criticized everything that draws man away from God, including art. He extinguished the Renaissance joy of the young artist and introduced an atmosphere of condemnation.
Michelangelo left Florence four years before the Savonarola's execution and later burning of the preacher in the city's main square. Still, the doubts the friar had instilled in him remained with him until the end of his life. He expressed them when he painted the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.
20.Michelangelo created many monumental works in Rome.
He led the construction of St. Peter's Basilica and did so until the end of his life. Unfortunately, he did not complete the work. He was also involved in the Capitoline Square design, the construction of S. Maria degli Angeli Church, Palazzo Farnese, and the fortifications. He created countless sculptures, bas-reliefs and paintings.
32 facts about Michelangelo