Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, 1474 - 1564
Chalk portrait by Daniele da Volterra
Born: 6 March 1475, Caprese, Arezzo, Republic of Florence
Died: 18 February 1564, Rome, Papal States
Caprese was part of the Republic of Florence (Repubblica Fiorentina) during Michelangelo's lifetime, it is now part of Tuscany. His family had been bankers at Florence but his father Lodovico had not maintained the business and was a judicial administrator at Caprese but returned to Florence soon after Michelangelo was born. His mother died when he was six and he was sent to school so he could become a businessman but preferred drawing. Despite refusing to follow the career path preferred by his father, he supported his father and brothers throughout their lives. Apprenticed to Domenico Ghirlandaio for a year, he was called to the household of Lorenzo de Medici, a distant relation and the Duke of Florence, where he first learned to sculpt. To learn anatomy he crafted a crucifix for a local church and was allowed, contrary to canon law, to examine the dead in the parish. After Lorenzo died Michelangelo went to Rome where he carved the Pietà, he was just 25 at the time. Returning to Florence he received a commission from the Wool Guild to carve a statue of David from a block of marble that another artist had started. He was called back to Rome by Pope Julius II to build the Pope's tomb but was then reassigned to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Unhappy with the early work done with two other artists and several helpers, he fired his crew, removed all the work already done, and did the whole job himself from 1508 to 1512. He sculpted numerous other works in Florence, and designed the Laurentian Library there, then returned to Rome in 1534 to paint again, this time The Last Judgment on the Sistine's altar wall. The genitalia on the naked subjects of the painting caused a scandal, an issue that caused a number of his statues to be draped at various times as well. Michelangelo was one of the architects of St Peter's Basilica (1546 to his death), it was his design of the dome that was finally used, although he died before the dome was raised and fifty years before the building was consecrated. There is plenty of evidence to suggest he was homosexual, but no certainty. His death followed a long fever.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Michelangelo Buonarroti quotes:
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- A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it. permalink
- A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking. permalink
- A man paints with his brains and not with his hands. permalink
- After four tortured years, more than 400 over life-sized figures, I felt as old and as weary as Jeremiah. I was only 37, yet friends did not recognize the old man I had become. permalink
- Already at sixteen, my mind was a battlefield: my love of pagan beauty, the male nude, at war with my religious faith. A polarity of themes and forms: one spiritual, the other earthly. permalink
- An artist must have his measuring tools not in the hand, but in the eye. permalink
- And who is so barbarous as not to understand that the foot of a man is nobler than his shoe, and his skin nobler than that of the sheep with which he is clothed. permalink
- Beauty is the purgation of superfluities. permalink
- Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop. permalink
- Critique by creating. permalink
- Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven. permalink
- Defend my dead painting
now, Giovanni, and my honor
not being in a good place nor I a painter. permalink
- Do you know that women who are chaste remain much fresher than those who are not? permalink
- Even if you are divine, you don't disdain male consorts. permalink
- Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come. permalink
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