michelangelo-self-portrait

Michelangelo Buonarroti – 6 Interesting Facts

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Michelangelo is one of the most popular artists from the Italian Renaissance and known for various breath-taking sculptures and paintings. Behind the eye-catching pieces of art he’s left behind, here are 6 interesting facts:

1. Michelangelo had arthritis.

  • The diagnosis came from a group of medical researchers who analyzed portraits of the artist. The portraits completed in the ages of 60 and 65 portrayed the hand as limp and weak.
  • Other notes and poems by Michelangelo also gave more evidence to the disease due to his complaints about gout and how his hand “refused to write”.

2. His face was an inspiration for a lot of his works.

  • The flayed piece of skin St. Bartholomew is seen holding in the “Last Judgment” was believed to be of Michelangelo’s.
  • Many art historians have also suggested that Michelangelo portrayed himself as Saint Nicodemus in his work of Florentine Pieta.
last-judgment-detail
Last Judgment fresco detail, circa 1534-1541

3. The “David” sculpture was made with a scrapped piece of marble.

  • A huge slab of marble intended for the Florence Cathedral had been left abandoned by previous artists for the past 40 years.
  • The marble had already become rough due to its exposure to the elements, but regardless of its poor quality, Michelangelo was able to turn it into one of his best works.
david
David by Michelangelo circa 1501-1504

4. He created the Sistine Chapel standing up.

  • Michelangelo accompanied by his assistants executed the painting using wooden scaffolds along with other systems of platforms that the artist designed himself.
  • He also had various different poems implying this fashion of painting and how inconvenient it was for him as well as it was for his health.
creation-of-adam
The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel Ceiling detail circa 1508-1512

5. He was an accomplished poet.

  • He created several sonnets and madrigals that focused mainly on aging and sex.
  • His work was never formally published but it was in wide circulation in Rome during the 16th century.
michelangelo-self-portrait
Self-portrait by Michelangelo

6. He literally worked until his death.

  • The designs for St. Peter’s Basilica were made by Michelangelo at home, since he got too weak to come into the work site regularly.
  • He even started working on a pietá intended for his own tomb, only to be unfinished due to his early death.

From his undeniable mastery of painting and sculpture, or through the way he expresses his pains and feelings through poetry,  Michelangelo is definitely a genius of the Renaissance. The test of time has come to prove that his name shall never disappear from the history of art.

What do you think of Michaelangelo’s work? Who is your favorite Renaissance artist? Let me know in the comments section!

References

History
Biography
Art History

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