Italian sculptor Michelangelo is known to everyone – even those who do not exactly appreciate art. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, was born on 6th March 1475 in Florence. He has made an eternal place in this world through his ingenious and priceless works – frescoes like the Genesis on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel in Rome – which had a massive influence.
At the age of 74, he became the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The western end of the famous monument was completed as per his design (also the dome) after his death.
The famous sculptures of the Pietà and David are the legacy of ‘Il Divino’ to mankind. Today, on his 543rd birthday, let’s know some lesser-known facts about him:
1. Michelangelo was accused of committing art fraud:
According to michelangelo.org, ‘In 1496, Michelangelo made a sleeping cupid figure and treated it with acidic earth to make it seem ancient. He then sold it to a dealer, Baldassare del Milanese, who in turn sold it to Cardinal Riario of San Giorgio. Riario later heard rumours of the scam and got his money back, but he was so impressed by Michelangelo’s skill that he invited him to Rome for a meeting.’ That is how he is said to have risen to fame.
2. When Michelangelo was just five, a jealous person broke his nose:
He studied at the home of famous art patron Lorenzo de’ Medici, where due to his skill many others grew jealous of him. According to history.com, ‘One young rival named Pietro Torrigiano grew so enraged at Michelangelo’s superior talent—and perhaps also his sharp tongue—that he walloped him in the nose, leaving it permanently smashed and disfigured.’
Michelangelo’s nose is seen disfigured even in his photos – look at the photo.
3. He never signed any of his works except one:
The artist only signed one work in his lifetime – the Pietà. And later, he regretted doing this. his name is carved on the sash worn by Mary.
4. Michelangelo did not come from an art background:
You will be surprised to know that the sculptor’s father was a banker – who later took on the job of the local administrator. He was not from an art background and had inculcated his habit all on his own.
5. His love for marble was developed due to a reason:
Michelangelo’s mother died when he was only six years old. After her death, he lived with his nanny and her husband who was a stonecutter at a marble quarry and a farm owned by his father. That is when he first began loving marble. It is as Giorgio Vasari quoted him:
“If there is some good in me, it is because I was born in the subtle atmosphere of your country of Arezzo. Along with the milk of my nurse I received the knack of handling chisel and hammer, with which I make my figures.”
6. Michelangelo painted himself in this famous painting:
In ‘The Last Judgement’ at Sistine Chapel, he has painted himself. The work that is inspired by the Bible is Michelangelo’s own imagination.
7. Along with being a sculptor, he was also a poet:
Not many know this. We know Michelangelo for his painting, for his sculptures. But he was also a poet. A serious one. He is said to have written over 300 poems in his lifetime! Michelangelo died in Rome in 1564, at the age of 88.
Preview Photo: medium.com