Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Although there are no existing portraits or detailed descriptions of him during this period, an account of his appearnace written many years later by Dondivi gives us a notion of what hemust have looked like as a young man: "Michelangelo is of good complexion; more muscular . . . than fat or fleshy in his person: healthy above all things, as well by reason of his natural constitution as of the exercise he takes, and habitual continence in food and sexual indulgence. . . . His countenance always shows a good and wholsome color. Of stature he is as follows: height middling; broad in the shoulders; the rest of the body somewhat slender in proportion. The shape of his face is oval. . . . The forehead, seen in front, is square; the nose, a little flattened. . . . The lips are thin. . . . The eyes may even be called small, of a color like horn, but speckled and stained with spots of bluish yellow .

. . the hair of the head is black, as also the beard . . .

As for his personality, he had already begun to exhibit, at the age of 26, many of those peculiarities of temperament, manner and habit that, as they became confirmed by the passing years, made him often seem strange and forbidding. These traits included both an excessive optimism and a deep strain of melancholy. The optimism showed itself in teh grandeur ofhis artistic ambitions and conceptions (exemplified in the David) and in his willingness to take on the most challenging and itme-consuming projects. He was full of confidence in his powers, full of eagerness to demonstrate them to his fellow artists, his city and the world (and, one may surmise, not least to his father).