FUN FACTS ABOUT MICHELANGELO
The famous painter, architect, and sculptor, Michelangelo Buonarroti, is a great artist of the Italian Renaissance period. Unfortunately, the artist spent most of his time in Rome and passed away at 88.
His work reflected intensity, pragmatism, and psychological perception. And probably, for this reason, he received commissions from wealthy, powerful men, including the popes of his time.
Some of the most recognized works that got him fame include the sculptures of David, Pieta, and the Sistine Chapel painting.
To learn more about Michelangelo, take a look at some of the interesting facts about the artist.
HE HAD A BAD FASHION SENSE
Despite his fame and wealth, there is a side to the artist unknown to many. It was said that the artist rarely bathed or even changed his clothes. He was always in a shabby state, adorning dirty clothes rather plastered on his body. This was to such an extent that his clothes were peeled off his body and cut into pieces when he died.
HE HAD AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY PUBLISHED DURING HIS LIFE
Michelangelo was loved by the Italians during his life and even after his demise.
He was widely known as Il Divino, and people were interested in knowing more about him. This interest compelled him to write two of his autobiographies that he wrote during his life. Moreover, compared to other artists of that time, there is much about Michelangelo, especially what people recorded during his life.
This has been done through letters and other communication mediums available
HE WAS A WELL-KNOWN POET
Michelangelo’s career comprises several madrigals and sonnets. His poetry was profound, encompassing a range of topics from sex to even his bladder.
Here are some of his most famous poems:
- ‘The excellent artist has no concept’: a poem Michelangelo wrote while working on the statue of St Matthew for the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence. The poem is a reflection on the role of the artist in which Michelangelo states that the artist does nothing more than free the already existing figure from stone.
- “A che più debb’io mai l’intensa voglia”: a love poem in which Michelangelo describes his unrequited love for Tommaso dei Cavalieri, a young Roman nobleman.
- “Veggio co’ bei vostri occhi un dolce lume”: a poem Michelangelo wrote for Vittoria Colonna, an Italian noblewoman with whom he had a deep friendship. The poem expresses Michelangelo’s gratitude for Vittoria’s friendship and his desire to be freed from the shackles of earthly life.
THE ARTIST NEVER MARRIED
The artist never married, and very little detail about his private life is present. Yet, it was seen that Michelangelo wrote love poetry for several men where his greater interest was directed towards a nobleman, Tommaso Dei Cavalieri. In addition, the artist was also seen to have a great friendship with Vittoria Colonna, a widow with whom he exchanged sonnets.
HE WAS WORKING EVEN DURING HIS LAST DAYS
Michelangelo passed away at 89, and despite being weak and fragile, he continued to work. During his last days, he was working on the sculpture Pietà Rondanini that portrayed Christ in the arms of the Virgin Mary. Also, although he could not visit his work, he continued to send designs for his ongoing work on St. Peter’s Basilica.
A DISCARDED MARBLE WAS USED TO MAKE DAVID
Michelangelo was famous for the quality of the marble he used for his sculptures. Yet, he surprisingly used an unworkable block of marble to carve one of the famous works by Michelangelo, David. This block was in the quarry for several years before the artist began working on it. The marble at that time was rough and scarred by the attempts of the other sculptors. And probably, for this reason, the marble looks deteriorated today mainly because of its low quality.
MICHELANGELO PREPARED ART FOR MANY POPES
He created art for about nine popes. This was the time when Michelangelo’s work was in great demand. Consequently, he began doing a series of artworks, including the Pope’s bed and the Sistine Chapel’s painting.
The artist, however, had a mixed relationship with each Pope, and interestingly, he enjoyed being commissioned by such powerful men of that time.
YOU CAN SEE HIS LIKENESS THROUGH HIS ART
You would never see a formal self-portrait created by the painter, nor would you see his signature on his artworks. Yet, he would incorporate himself in his paintings and sculptures and style them differently.
This is evident in his work The Last Judgement, where he uses his own image to showcase St. Bartholomew. And this shows his deep understanding of himself, which differed from how he showed himself to the people.
THE PAINTING OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL WAS COMMISSIONED TO SABOTAGE HIM
Michelangelo was considered to be more of a sculptor than a painter. Nevertheless, because of envying his talents and abilities, Raphael forced Pope Julis II to commission Michelangelo to create a painting of the Sistine Chapel. He thought that Michelangelo would fail to create the painting, which would, in turn, affect his career. The artist, however, spent four years creating an astounding piece of art that was widely celebrated and appreciated by everybody.
PIETA WAS THE ONLY WORK THAT MICHELANGELO SIGNED
Out of all the works, the artist signed only one of his works Pietà which showcases Mary’s grief over the loss of Christ. When Michelangelo overheard that this work belonged to some other sculptor, he got furious and, as a result, carved Michelangelo Buonarroti. Florentine was making this.
He later regretted what he did and never signed any of his works again.
HE WAS SHORT-TEMPERED AND MADE OTHERS ANGRY
The artist was very hard on himself, especially regarding his artwork. In other words, he was his critic. Not only this, the artist was known for his bad temper. He used to get on people’s nerves. This is evident when one of his peers boasted about punching Michelangelo’s nose, leaving it disfigured for a lifetime.
One of the greatest artists of all time, Michelangelo is known for his sculptors, paintings, and poetry. His work influenced Western Art with the specific reflection of Renaissance ideologies of realism and humanism. Other artists replicated his style of Art, and his artworks continue to define him as one of the most talented artists in history.
Despite his creativity, several facts related to his life and personality are unknown to the masses. From his anger to his shabbiness, we continue to learn more as we explore. However, regardless of his private life and varying personality traits, the artist will always be remembered for his talent.