He is the greatest of masters the Earth has ever spawned. Learn the most interesting facts about Michelangelo’s life!
A man of the Renaissance
The works of art of the Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet are among the most famous in the world, and he is counted among the greatest artists of all time. Only his “fellow artists” such as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael Santi can compare with Michelangelo’s genius.
His “Last Judgment” was subjected to censorship
“The Last Judgment” by Michelangelo counts more than four hundred figures painted on the ceiling and one of the walls of the Sistine Chapel. It is noteworthy that the fresco was approved by Pope Clement VII himself, who incidentally commissioned its painting, but no longer by the Council of Trent. There was particular outrage over the nudity of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. It even got to the point that the next head of the church, Pope Paul VI, commissioned the author’s disciple to paint the figures’ underwear.
He painted the frescoes on the ceilings while lying down
Surely you can guess how much effort it takes to paint a ceiling. Now imagine painting one and the same ceiling day after day for four years. You understand yourself that Michelangelo had to invent something that would allow him to paint the fresco in a more comfortable position. That’s how he came up with the unique ladder that made it possible to paint “The Creation of Adam” and dozens of other masterpieces on the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. His invention had only one but… The ladder turned out to be so large that the artist could not see his work until it was finished.
His “David” was started and abandoned by other artists
One of the most interesting facts about Michelangelo is that his masterpiece was fashioned from a block of marble that had not only been quarried forty years earlier, but work on it was started and quickly abandoned by many other sculptors afterward. When the block was found again 26 years later during an inventory, the leadership of the Florence Cathedral decided to find someone to finish it after all. It was harder to find a better candidate than Michelangelo, who in time transformed the shapeless stone into a masterpiece named “David.”
“Florentine Pietà” was created when Michelangelo was only 23 years old
“The Florentine Pietà” was commissioned by French Cardinal Jean Bilhères de Lagraulas. Michelangelo set about making it when he was just 23 years old, when he had only a few works in his oeuvre. Today the sculpture can be admired in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, which is de facto part of the Vatican Museums.
He dissected corpses to better understand anatomy
One of his early chiseled works was a crucifix he made as a gift to the Prior of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Florence. For what reason was such a gift? Well, the prior gave him permission to dissect the human corpses housed in the church’s hospital. Michelangelo learned his craft by preparing fresh human cadavers, and did so throughout his career. To become a master, one must be willing to make certain sacrifices!
A minor forgery
One of Michelangelo’s earliest sculptures depicts a sleeping Cupid. The artist wanted to sell it, but before doing so, he buried the sculpture in acidic soil. The statue was thus supposed to gain a “patina” and look like the work of the ancient masters. The machination succeeded and the work was sold at a price many times higher than originally expected. Later the truth came out, but Michelangelo was a novice sculptor at the time, so he got away with it.
main photo: unsplash.com/Calvin Craig