The Art of Painter Michelangelo

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I remember having a serious discussion with someone about the terms painter and artist. My friend insisted that anyone who created art should be called an artist and not by any other name. I told him that artists could also be actors, singers and even poets and if they are popular by name when they are referred to as artists people will know what kind of art they produce. When it comes to the term painter it also depends on how popular or well-known the person’s name is because a painter can also be someone who paints houses and buildings. In this case, I am writing about some interesting facts about Michelangelo and since I know that everyone knows who he is I have used the term painter in the title.

The Greatest Painter

Michelangelo has been looked upon as one of history’s greatest painters. Lots of his major achievements are considered to be the best examples of the Italian Renaissance. He grew up in Florence, Italy during the late 15th century. He had great admiration for religious artwork and copied paintings from churches instead of getting involved with school work and this showed that he had talent and got him an artistic apprenticeship. Michelangelo must have been blessed by God for his religious artistry as he lived up to 88 years of age where many other artists have died much younger.

Artist Raphael’s Challenge

Painter Raphael was considered to be the greatest artist of the era while Michelangelo was just rising to fame. Therefore to attempt to get the upper hand Raphael went to the Pope and convinced him to hire Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel. Once the work was started Raphael would go there to check up on the progress of the painting. He was disappointed to see that Michelangelo’s artistic work was very impressive. Raphael had hoped that this would prove that he was by far the superior artist and it wasn’t working. So supposedly as the story goes, Raphael went to the Sistine Chapel and painted over the face of Isaiah just to spite Michelangelo.

A Much-Loved Painter

During his lifetime Michelangelo earned the nickname of “Il Divino” in translation “The Divine”. Everyone who saw his artistic work loved it no matter what culture, class or demographic they were. His work is still very much in demand and appreciated today. Tourists travel to places just to see his fine works of art and to admire them. It must be said that thank heaven he didn’t love school work as much as painting because from a young age he was able to develop his talent. The knowledge came through life experiences.

Poetry as a Hobby

Michelangelo’s hobby was poetry and in his lifetime he wrote more than 300 sonnets and madrigals. Quite a few of them had an erotic flair with sexuality discussed as the artist viewed it. Since art was his great love he didn’t enter into many discussions about his poetry and referred to it as just a foolish venture. Among the other subjects taken up in his poetry were spirituality, mysticism and loyalty.


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Michelangelo created a sculpture of St. John the Baptist for a prominent banker and politician named Medici. It was requested that the artist make the sculpture look as if it had been buried and uncovered. In other words to make it look like a sculpture from antiquity. Michelangelo did as requested and this sculpture was sold to a Cardinal of the Catholic Church as an “ancient work of art”. The Cardinal soon discovered the ploy but instead of being upset about this he invited Michelangelo to Rome because he was very impressed with the artist’s work.

Interesting Self-Portrait

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Most artists eventually paint a self-portrait. There are those who create several not knowing which one may show them at the best point. Michelangelo painted the most creative self-portrait. He didn’t make the usual portrait. Instead what the painter did was paint one of his most famous works of art “The Last Judgment”. It took him five years to complete this work. In the painting, Bartholomew is shown holding in one hand the knife that caused him to be a martyr and in the other hand a chunk of his skin. If one takes a very close and careful look at the face of Bartholomew in the painting they will see that it is a very clear self-portrait of the artist, Michelangelo himself.

Building City Walls

In 1527 the Medici family was driven out of Florence and the city’s fortifications had to be rebuilt. Michelangelo lent a hand to help build the city walls and towers for the next two years. When in 1530 the Medici family was once again in power the painter returned to his artistic work.

Work that took 40 years

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In 1505 Pope Julius II decided that a very huge and grand monument had to be built for his tomb. He gave Michelangelo a commission to create a monument that would rise up three stories and would have over 40 unique sculptures. This artistic work took the artist 40 years because he was also involved with painting the Sistine Chapel in 1508. After the Pope died in 1513 the Catholic Church commissioned that a much less grandiose monument be completed in seven years. By the time all was said and done it was 1545 and the final touches were made to the monument. It is here that you can see the famous statue of Moses that Michelangelo created. 

An Architect at 74

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Michelangelo had already retired when the Catholic Church approached him at the age of 74 to help complete St. Peter’s Basilica. The artist worked on this project for 14 years and finally, it was completed after the artist’s death. St. Peter’s Basilica became one of the magnificent gems of the Renaissance period and millions of people have taken pilgrimages just to see it.

When Censorship Was Common

A great many of Michelangelo’s artistic works involve the nude human form. Due to this a lot of his statues have been censored in one way or another throughout the years. Supposedly a portable box with a fig leaf was available for the copy of the statue of David when women came to see this incredible artwork in London, England. The statue of Christ created by Michelangelo has a drapery over it so that all of the male parts are not clearly visible. This censorship occurred during the counter-Renaissance movement and not during the artist’s lifetime. Michelangelo became the first Western artist to have an autobiography published while he was still alive. As far as it is known actually two autobiographies were published.

Artists and Cats Hate Baths

It might seem unusual but Michelangelo hated taking baths. Due to this, his skin became unmanageable, especially in his old age. When he died the clothing that he was wearing had to be peeled from his body.

You can tell that it is a Michelangelo creation

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The only work that this artist signed his name to was The Rome Pieta statue and only because there was a debate at the time that this work was not his. The reason why all of his other artworks are clearly the work of Michelangelo and not this one because here his style is a bit different and the lines of his work but the realistic details are truly Michelangelo.


What do you think?


  1. Wonderful article on this inspiring artist who told the Pope “I am not a painter.” Glad the Pope made him paint anyway, although the two had a tempestuous relationship.

  2. What a great tribute to the painter Michelangelo. He was a genius of creativity.
    He was actually referred to as a sculptor, painter, architect and poet.