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Michelangelo Biography

 A proud Florentine, Michelangelo was in reality born in Caprese before his family moved to the home in Florence where he spent his childhood.
 
The son of a local magistrate, Michelangelo infuriated his father by choosing to apprentice for the Fresco artist Domenico Ghirlandaio. Shortly thereafter, he went on to further his artistic studies at the sculpture school in the Medici gardens and was subsequently invited into the household of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Among the diverse intellectuals and artists who congregated at the estate, Michelangelo had the good fortune to become acquainted with Leo X, who became shortly thereafter.
 
After the death of Lorenzo de’ Medici, with his beloved Florence under major social and political upheaval, Michelangelo relocated to Rome where he soon completed the Bacchus, one of his few works lacking a religious subject matter, and the Pieta, a famed sculpture that still sits in it’s original place at Saint Peter's Basilica. In 1501, with Florence’s political unrest settled, Michelangelo returned home, quickly beginning work on arguably his most famous creation, the David.
 
In 1503, Michelangelo was summoned back to Rome by the newly appointed Pope Julius II. The new Pope commissioned Michelangelo to build the tomb for his predecessor. However the work was never completed due to many distractions, differences in artistic taste, and various side projects, including 4 years painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. 

When his old acquaintance, Leo X, was appointed to the Papacy following the death of Julius II, Michelangelo disappointed the church again, unable to complete a façade of the Basilica of San Lorenzo. However, this did not stop the Pope from employing Michelangelo a second time, commissioning him to build a Medici family funeral chapel and tomb in Florence. Michelangelo spent much of the 1520’s working on this project, that aptly integrated and displayed his superior skills and vision as both a sculptor, painter and an architect.

In 1527, Medici was again overthrown in Florence and Michelangelo returned to work, rebuilding and renovating the fortifications and infrastructure of his beloved city. However, in 1530, the Medici family returned to power, and displeased with the repressive politics of the regime, Michelangelo left his home and fled Florence for the
final time.

Back in Rome, Michelangelo began work on The Last Judgment on the alter wall of the Sistine Chapel. The controversial work set off calls for censorship within the Church’s hierarchy due to the graphic and realistic portrayal of the human genitals in the painting. Today, the remnants of this controversy can still be seen in the Sistine Chapel. Following the creation of new church laws that governed artistic content, brought on by Michelangelo’s contentious painting, a new layer, covering the genitals but leaving the rest of the painting untouched was painted over The Last Judgment. When Michelangelo died in February of 1564, he left behind not only this artistic controversy, but an array of brilliant masterpieces and an undeniable legacy.