The Italian Renaissance was a time of great cultural, scientific and artistic change. Commonly thought of as the time period between the 14th and 17th centuries, the Renaissance, or “rebirth”, marked the end of the Dark Ages of man’s un-enlightenment.
The wealth of cities like Florence allowed elites to sponsor and become patrons of artists. These artists could explore their craft unencumbered by the daily grind. They would go on to create truly wondrous works of art, which we still admire today.
In this article we take a short look at one of the most well-known artists of the time period – Michelangelo.
Michelangelo, born in 1475 in Florence, was one of the most prolific artists of the Renaissance. He was a painter, architect and poet, but arguably most famously known for his sculptures which continue to enthrall people.
His most famous sculpture, David, is currently on display at Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia, where it has been since 1873. The 5.17m statue depicts David, the biblical hero who defeated Goliath, standing nude. His other most famous sculpture, Pietà, is on display in St. Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican City. The sculpture depicts Mary holding the body of Jesus Christ in her lap after his Crucifixion.
While he didn’t think much of painting, his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are world-renowned. His work adorns the ceiling of the chapel, depicting scenes from the Old Testament. By far the most iconic of these is The Creation of Adam. He also painted the altar wall of the chapel with a scene from The Last Judgement. It depicts the Second Coming of Christ and features several hundred figures, taking more than 4 years to complete.
Michelangelo died in 1864 in Rome, at the ripe age of 88. One of the greatest (if not the greatest) artists in Western antiquity, his legacy lives on to this day.