Michelango Buonarroti: Immortality Through Infamy

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Michelangelo contributed some of the most famous works of art to the Renaissance period. Beyond that he could arguably be one of the greatest artists of all time. The second son of five brothers, Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475 at Caprese, in Tuscany, to Ludovico di Leonardo di Buonarroti Simoni and Francesca Neri. Francesca died when Michelangelo was only a few months old. Michelangelo was recognized as being very intelligent at an early age. He was first placed in a grammar school and there he began to learn. He began to draw and to express himself and soon enough he sprang free as he did more drawing than learning. At the age of thirteen he was placed in the shop of the painter Domenico del Ghirlandaio. He remained there for only one year as Domenico became jealous of him (1). Michelangelo moved on to study with the famous Lorenzo de Medici.

There he began his first classes in sculpturing. At the age of sixteen, like many other art students of the day, he went back to the sources of Renaissance form, light, and space.

From this period date Michelangelo's earliest works, two marble relief's, the Madonna of the Stairs and the Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs (4 14). Already he began sculpturing with his own individual personality instead of using the ideas of other artists. He expressed himself as most could not during the Renaissance and so began the first steps towards becoming the great influence that he was to the people of the Renaissance. Michelangelo stated himself in his diary how his ideas carried over to his work, as these same idea's would carry over to other's as well, when he wrote, "my love of pagan beauty, the male nude, at war with my religious...