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Michelangelo Buonarroti

Il Divino

Pieta in the Museo del Duomo

According to many critics the greatest artist who ever lived, nicknamed Il Divino in his lifetime, Michelangeo was a complex, difficult character, a prima donna who seldom got along with mere mortals, popes, or patrons. What he couldn’t express by means of the male nude in paint or marble, he did in his beautiful but difficult sonnets.

In many ways he was the first modern artist, unsurpassed in technique but also the first genius to go over the top, famous for his terribilità.

Early Years

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) was born in Caprese (now Caprese Michelangelo) into a Florentine family of the minor nobility come down in the world, but that claimed the famous Countess Matilda of Tuscany as their ancestor.

His early years and artistic training are obscure. His parents returned to Florence not long after he was born, and he was nursed by the wife of a stone cutter in in Settignano, where his father owned a small marble quarry. When his mother died when he was six, he went to live with them.

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Renaissance Art & Architecture





Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by MM, GNU Free Documentation License, PD Art, Sailko, GNU Free Documentation License