Born in 1475 Michelangelo was a sculptor, painter and architect widely considered to be one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance period—and arguably of all time. He was known for his amazingly perfect and very detailed work.
His contemporaries recognised his extraordinary talent and he received commissions from some of the wealthiest and most powerful men of his day including popes and others affiliated with the Catholic Church.
In the fall of 1512, the masterpiece that he left behind on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome would leave the world forever altered. He had been on his back for 20 months, resting sparingly, and sleeping in his clothes to save time. At only the age of 24 he was commissioned to paint one of the greatest paintings of all times, it is St. Peter’s Basilica: Rome Pietà and Dome (Pity).
Since Michelangelo considered himself a sculptor more than a painter, the Sistine Chapel was considered to be the most fascinating ceilings of all time in May 1508. Despite the fact that during his work he fell and was partially blinded, he still wanted to keep up his work and finish it, a four-year project painting 12 figures, seven prophets and five sibyls (female prophets of myth)—around the border of the ceiling, and filled the central space with scenes from Genesis.
Critics suggest that the way Michelangelo depicts the prophet Ezekiel—as strong yet stressed, determined yet unsure—is symbolic of Michelangelo’s sensitivity to the intrinsic complexity of the human condition. The most famous Sistine Chapel ceiling painting is the emotion-infused The Creation of Adam, in which God and Adam outstretch their hands to one another.
His resulting work, most notably his Pietà and David sculptures and Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings have been carefully tended and preserved, ensuring that future generations would be able to view and appreciate Michelangelo’s genius.