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Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Background and Career

Artist’s Background

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was simply known as Michaelangelo. He was an Italian poet, painter, architect, and gifted sculptor of the Renaissance who had an unmatched influence on Western art. He was an apprentice to a sophisticated painter before joining the Medici family to enhance his sculpture gardens’ artistic skills. Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475, at Caprese in the Republic of Florence, and died on February 18, 1564, while in Rome, Papal States ( Editors). Michelangelo’s life is interesting and inspiring because of the achievements he managed to attain in life.

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Michelangelo had less interest in school and preferred watching artists such as painters at the nearby churches. He directed his attention to drawing the things observable in his environment. His friend Francesco Granacci introduced him to Domenico Ghirlandaio, who was also a skilled painter. Michelangelo’s father noticed his son’s lack of interest in school and apprenticed him at the age of 13 years ( Editors). The father took him to Florentine and Ghirlandaio’s fashionable workshop to further his painting skills.

Michelangelo never married, but he was dedicated to a religious and famous widow by the name of Vittoria Colonna. Vittoria loved and enjoyed the art of Michelangelo, and she read more than 300 sonnets and poems from his collection (The Art Story Foundation). Apart from poetry, Michelangelo was given a special admission to the Catholic Church to examine corpses to develop insight into anatomy. The exposure to cadavers had adverse impacts on his health, but he had gained some knowledge in the discipline of anatomy. This combination of influences from the Medici family and other talented artists laid the foundation for Michelangelo’s distinctive lifestyle.


Though Michelangelo’s copious talents and brilliant mind gave him the patronage and regard of influential and wealthy men in Italy, he faced some challenges in his carrier. Michelangelo had a belligerent personality characterized by a quick temper resulting in fractious relationships with his colleagues and superiors. The contentious personality led Michelangelo to numerous problems, and it created a general dissatisfaction distracting him from perfection. He was nervous, aggressive, and uncertain of himself except for his gifted skills and talents (Arshad and Fitzgerald 117). He sometimes experienced melancholy spells, which appeared in many of his collections. One of Michelangelo’s arts explained how he was distressed, experiencing massive physical strain without any friends. He had no time to eat as much as needed, and his sorrows caused him discomfort.

He insulted his fellow students in his youth, who reiterated this by giving Michelangelo a blow disfiguring his nose for life. For many years, he suffered excessive susceptibilities from the strain and rigor of his job. Michelangelo believed in perfection and was unwilling to compromise his beliefs regardless of the strain he was experiencing. One of the greatest of Michelangelo’s works was depicted while painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, symbolizing the beginning of creation: the isolation of light from darkness (Reis et al. 318). He never had an interest in politics, but Florence’s political strife troubled him since he loved her deeply.

Carrier and Success

Some remarkable works in the carrier of Michelangelo were manifested at his tender age. For instance, he made the San Spirito Crucifix at the age of 18 years old as a token of appreciation to the Augustine monks. Michelangelo began to dissect and examine dead bodies while at San Spirito and advanced his knowledge of anatomy (Symonds 14). At the same place, he started designing, and eventually mastered the art of drawing and painting. The crucifix image made headlines as one of Michelangelo’s successes in 1962 after being taken to Florence.

At the age of 26, Michelangelo sculpted “David,” and the art brought him fame from its sheer bravura. The curve of David was 13 feet tall, and it was made from marble which another artist had abandoned for the reason of its being compromised. Michelangelo’s skills to curve the figure from the abandoned marble gave him distinction, and the artwork was most vaunted in the Renaissance. Another success of the artist came from a painting of the Sistine Chapel (Carrigan). Michelangelo was not interested in the commission paid, instead, he focused on producing magnificent works becoming the most valued artist in Western art history.

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Michelangelo was one of the most respected artists in Western history. Gifted and self-driven, he was the archetype of brilliance, whose talents and intellect helped him to work in several media: the artist was an architect, sculptor, poet, and painter. Pope Julius motivated him to outdo other artists of ancient times by offering him many chances to produce a number of most famous and inspired works. His famous sculpture of the biblical David was a renaissance explanation of Greek culture and the theme of a hero standing nude. This style of producing a naked male figure was unique since not many artists had tried it.

Major Events and Technology that Were Happening in the Background

The Fresco project was among his main events, and it entailed painting Sistine Chapel’s ceiling commissioned by Pope Julius II. Another major event of Michelangelo’ was seen when he was assigned to re-use twenty feet pieces of massive marble called “The White Giant” after other artists failed to use the medium. He accepted the challenge and completed the colossal figure in two years, and the statue was positioned outside Palazzo Signoria. His work was greatly enhanced by the etching technique and chiaroscuro woodcut approach.


Michelangelo was a source of inspiration and influence to the Mannerist period, Baroque, and Counter-Reformation. He specifically inspired Leonard da Vinci through his musculature figure having an extremely impressive look representing passion, energy, and quiet inner life. Leonard da Vinci produced The Mona Lisa artwork after being influenced by Michelangelo. Also, he developed a language of anatomical drawing serving as a role model to other artists such as Fra Bartolomeo and Raphael. Michelangelo’s impact was evident when Raphael became noticeable via his works and arts, such as the Frescoes found in Stanze. In addition, Raphael and Leonard da Vinci had a profound influence on Michelangelo’s carrier.


I chose Michelangelo because of his talents and gifted abilities to do what other artists saw as impossible. For instance, he produced a magnificent statue from a rejected marble, making him an exemplary artist during the High Renaissance. At a tender age, Michelangelo had an unparalleled impact on the art industry and the renaissance in general, which caught my interest. While several artists learned from him and assisted in painting buildings such as the Sistine Chapel, none of them equaled him. Therefore, to excel in the art industry it is important to uphold determination and resilience as key supporting factors.

Works Cited

Arshad, Muhammad, and Michael Fitzgerald. “Did Michelangelo (1475–1564) Have High-Functioning Autism?” Journal of Medical Biography, vol. 12, no. 2, 2004, pp. 115-120. SAGE Publications.

Artble. “Michelangelo Style and Technique.” Artble, Web. Editors. “Michelangelo.” Biography, Web.

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Carrigan, Margaret. “What Is the Greatest Michelangelo? The 10 Most Iconic Works by the Renaissance Titan, Ranked | Artnet News.” Artnet News, 2017. Web. editor. “Michelangelo.” HISTORY, Web.

Reis, Leonardo Oliveira, et al. “The Interpretation of the Figure of the Prophet Jonah by Michelangelo on the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: Anatomical Urological Vision.” International Braz J Urol, vol 38, no. 3, 2012, pp. 317-323. Fapunifesp (Scielo).

Symonds, John Addington. The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Bibliobazaar, 2004.

The Art Story Foundation. “Michelangelo Biography, Life & Quotes”. The Art Story, Web.

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