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Michelangelo Facts, Quotes and Biographical Timeline


What was Michelangelo’s full name? Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. When was Michelangelo born? He was born March 6, 1475, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Despite making few advances in his time beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Italian painter, sculptor, architect, and poet, Leonardo da Vinci.

Timeline of the Life of Michelangelo

1475: Michelangelo Buonarroti born in Caprese on March 6

1487: Michelangelo documented in Ghirlandaio’s workshop

1490: Michelangelo in Medici household

1492: Columbus discovers the New World

1492: Death of Lorenzo de’ Medici (Il Magnifico)

1494: Medici expelled from Florence

1494: Michelangelo in Bologna until 1495

1495: Michelangelo returns to Florence where Savonarola is influential

1496: Michelangelo’s first trip to Rome where he carves Bacchus.

1498: Michelangelo contracts to carve Pieta which he finishes a year later.

1501: Michelangelo begins carving David

1503: Michelangelo commissioned for 12 apostles for Duomo

1503: Julius II elected pope; major patron of the arts

1503 To 1505: Michelangelo completes the Doni Tondo, Taddei Tondo, Pitti Tondo, Bruges Madonna

1504: Michelangelo completes David

1505: Michelangelo summoned to Rome, commissioned for Tomb of Pope Julius II

1505: Michelangelo works on Moses, slave figures, Rachel and Leah

1506: Construction of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome begins; ends 1612

1507: Michelangelo in Bologna working on bronze statue of Julius II

1508: Michelangelo painting Sistine Chapel ceiling; finishes in 1512

1513: Michelangelo signs 2nd contract for Tomb of Julius II

1513: Julius II dies; Medici pope Leo X elected

1517: Raphael paints The Transfiguration

1519: Michelangelo commissioned to design New Sacristy, Medici Chapel, San Lorenzo in Florence

1519: Leonardo da Vinci dies

1520: Raphael Sanzio dies

1527: Michelangelo commissioned to carve Hercules (never completed)

1530: Michelangelo carves Apollo/David

1532: Michelangelo signs 4th contract for Tomb of Julius II

1533: Michelangelo completes Reliquary Tribune balcony in San Lorenzo, Florence

1536: Michelangelo begins painting Sistine Chapel Last Judgment

1538: Michelangelo begins work on Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill), Rome

1540: Michelangelo carves Brutus bust

1541: Michelangelo completes Last Judgment

1542: Michelangelo signs 5th contract with Julius II heirs for tomb

1545: Michelangelo Tomb of Julius II installed; still working on Pauline Chapel frescoes

1546: Michelangelo appointed chief architect of St. Peters and FarnesePalace

1547: Michelangelo begins work on Pieta for his own Florentine tomb (never finished)

1550: Michelangelo completes Pauline Chapel frescoes

1559: Michelangelo designs San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Rome

1560: Michelangelo commissioned for Sforza Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

1561: Michelangelo commissioned for Porta Pia and Santa Mariadegli Angeli, Rome

1564: Michelangelo dies at home in Rome

Michelangelo Quotes

  • “A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.”
  • “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.”
  • “Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.”
  • “Even if you are divine, you don’t disdain male consorts.”
  • “Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.”
  • “Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.”
  • “Genius is eternal patience.”
  • “Good painting is the kind that looks like sculpture.”
  • “I am a poor man and of little worth, who is laboring in that art that God has given me in order to extend my life as long as possible.”
  • “I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.”
  • “I live and love in God’s peculiar light.”
  • “If in my youth I had realized that the sustaining splendor of beauty of with which I was in love would one day flood back into my heart, there to ignite a flame that would torture me without end, how gladly would I have put out the light in my eyes.”
  • “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.”
  • “If we have been pleased with life, we should not be displeased with death, since it comes from the hand of the same master.”
  • “It is necessary to keep one’s compass in one’s eyes and not in the hand, for the hands execute, but the eye judges.”
  • “My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.”
  • “The best artist has that thought alone Which is contained within the marble shell; The sculptor’s hand can only break the spell To free the figures slumbering in the stone.”
  • “The best of artists has no conception that the marble alone does not contain within itself.”
  • “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
  • “The greatest artist has no conception which a single block of white marble does not potentially contain within its mass, but only a hand obedient to the mind can penetrate to this image.”
  • “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.”
  • “The more the marbles wastes, the more the statue grows.”
  • “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”
  • “What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?”