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Michelangelo's Life

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The second of five brothers, Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475, at Caprese, in Tuscany, to Ludovico di Leonardo de Buonarotto Simomi and Francesca Neri. His father worked for the Florentine government, and shortly after his birth, his family returned to Florence, the city Michelangelo would always consider his true home. His childhood was lacking in affection, and when he was six years old his mother passed, leaving him with just his father who didn’t initially approve of his interest in art as a career. At a young age his father recognized his intellectual potential and enrolled him in Francesco Galeota’s school, where he met a student of the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, who was an early Renaissance painter who was known his narrative…show more content…
After his apprenticeship with Ghirlandaio, Michelangelo studied sculpture and anatomy at the school in the Medici gardens, and because of his success there he invited into Lorenzo de’ Medici’s home. Lorenzo de’ Medici, also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, was a renowned art patron and very impactful on Michelangelo’s life and influenced his future. Due to his time at the Medici family, 1489 to 1492, Michelangelo was able to meet the social elite of Florence, which allowed him to study under a renowned sculptor Bertoldo di Giovanni and exposed him to many scholars and writers. He also got permission from the Catholic Church to study cadavers for insight into human anatomy. These influences laid the groundwork for what would later be known as Michelangelo’s style, “a muscular precision and reality combined with an almost lyrical…show more content…
The Medici were overthrown in 1494, but before the end of the political turmoil Michelangelo had left. By 1498 Michelangelo was working in Rome when he received a huge commission from the visiting French cardinal Jean Bilheres de Lagraulas, envoy of King Charles VIII to the pope. The cardinal wanted a statue depicting a draped Virgin Mary with her dead son resting in her arms, Pieta, to grace his future tomb. In 1501, he returned to Florence and was contracted to create a marble male statue to enhance the city’s famous Dumo. He chose to depict the younge David from the old testament, heroic, energetic, powerful and spiritual, and larger than life at seventeen feet tall. Michelangelo’s art embraced many of Neoplatonism’s contradictory themes. His sculpture depicts the human form as an intensely conflicted, physically tense body, frozen in time but full of energy, seemingly ready to explode. Michelangelo apparently viewed the human body in light of his own body, with guilt-ridden, contradictory feelings-on the one hand, he viewed it through the lens of Classical and Renaissance humanism, which viewed the body in light of his own repressed homosexuality, as a prison for the soul and its free expression. Michelangelo embodied characteristics of the renaissance.
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