Michelangelo was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer. He is often considered a Renaissance man, along with fellow Italian, Leonardo da Vinci. Michelangelo lived from 1475 – 1564
Two of Michelangelo's best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. The Pieta, completed by Michelangelo in 1504, is housed in ST. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixtion.
This is a statue of David before his battle with Goliath. Instead of appearing victorious over a foe much larger than he, David's face looks tense and ready for combat. The tendons in his neck stand out tautly; the muscles between his upper lip and nose are tight; his brow is furrowed; and his eyes seem to focus intently on something in the distance. Veins bulge out of his lowered right hand, but his body is in a relaxed pose, and he carries his sling casually thrown over his left shoulder. and a stone in his right hand. David is naked to symbolize that he went to battle without wearing armor.
Sistine Chapel Ceiling
The Pope commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which took approximately four years to complete (1508–1512). Michelangelo was originally commissioned to paint the 12 Apostles against a starry sky, but lobbied for a different and more complex scheme, representing creation, the Downfall of Man and the Promise of Salvation through the prophets and Genealogy of Christ.
The composition eventually contained over 300 figures and had at its center nine episodes from the Book of Genesis, divided into three groups: God's Creation of the Earth; God's Creation of Humankind and their fall from God's grace; and lastly, the state of Humanity as represented by Noah and his family.
The Final Judgement
More than 25 years laters, the fresco of The Last Judgement on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Clement VII, who died shortly after assigning the commission. The work spans the entire wall behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel. The Last Judgment is a depiction of the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse; where the souls of humanity rise and are assigned to their various fates, as judged by Christ, surrounded by the Saints.
In the second picture, Saint Bartholomew is shown holding the knife of his martyrdom and his flayed skin. The face of the skin is recognizable as Michelangelo.
St. Peter's Basilica
Michelangelo designed the dome of St. Peter's Basilica on or before 1564, although it was unfinished when he died.