Michelangelo

Influential Italian scuptor and painter of the Reinaissance

General Information

  • Full Name: Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
  • Born in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany
  • Lived from 1475 - 1564
  • Truly a "Renaissance Man"
  • Scuptor, painter, architect, poet, engineer
  • Pieta and David were sculpted under the age of 30
  • Rivaled Leonardo da Vinci in fame and significance
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How did Michelangelo learn his craft?

Michelangelo was trained by a painter, Domenico Ghirlandaio. After this training, he went on to become a sculptor, painter, architect, and poet.

How are the Pieta and David examples of Renaissance thought?

The Pieta and David are two sculptures made by Michelangelo.


The Pieta was made from 1498-1499. It is sculptured out of marble and measures 5'9" by 6'5." The Pieta depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. It is very detailed and even the veins of Jesus show.


David is a marble statue of a male nude that was created between 1501 and 1504 by Michelangelo. It stands at 17 feet. The statue represents the Biblical hero David. David and Pieta are both important works as they balance the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty with naturalism.

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Why is David especially such a breakthrough?

David is a marble statue of a male nude that was created between 1501 and 1504 by Michelangelo. It stands at 17 feet. The statue represents the Biblical hero David.
The slingshot he carries over his shoulder is almost invisible, emphasizing that David's victory was one of cleverness, not sheer force. He transmits exceptional self-confidence and concentration, both values of the “thinking man”, considered perfection during the Renaissance. It also is the first sculpture of David to show him before the battle instead of after. This sculpture symbolizes perfection through a perfect hero. It also showed that Florence was ready to defend itself from the Medicis, who had just lost power.
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What about the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is such an accomplishment?

The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling has nine different scenes painted on it. Five of them illustrate how the human race is hopeless and only God’s intervention can save us. Others illustrate prophets sitting enthroned lower on the ceiling. The final pictures depict Jesus’s life and the final judgment. It is such an accomplishment because the ceiling was painted while Michelangelo was standing on scaffolds. He needed to do this to reach the ceiling.

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How does the Sistine Chapel represent Renaissance ideals?

The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling has pictures of naked youths reaching to God while they are on pedestals. This represents the ideal that man yearned to get reabsorbed into God and where he came from.