Wednesday, March 6, 2013
March 6, 1475, is the birthdate of sculptor, painter, architect and poet Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. Born in Caprese, Italy, he was apprenticed to the painter Ghirlandaio before studying in an academy of Lorenzo de' Medici, the de facto ruler of Florence. In 1499 at age 24 he carved his acclaimed Pietà, which was hailed as “perfection,” and then triumphed in 1504 with his statue of David, more than 14 feet tall, a symbol of Florentine freedom and the first nude carved on a colossal scale since antiquity. The marble block from which the sculpture emerged had been abandoned 40 years earlier by another sculptor and had been damaged by exposure. Schooled in Renaissance humanism, Michelangelo portrayed David as a protector imbued with the sensibility of force tempered by intellect and an inner strength superior to brute force. In his lifetime Michelangelo was often called Il Divino ("the divine one").