Pieta, Michelangelo Buonarroti

Pieta, Michelangelo Buonarroti

It’s impossible to be a lover of Renaissance art without mentioning the incredible, magnificent Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Painter, writer, architect, and sculptor, his talent was obvious from an early age. He was apprenticed in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio, himself an admired painter in his day. But Michelangelo found sculpture more to his liking, making viewing his work in the Sistine Chapel all the more astounding. He painted the entire ceiling himself, with no assistants aiding in the work. For four long years he ascended the custom scaffolding – that he designed – and painted the ceiling while lying on his back. The first time I saw the Sistine Chapel in person it literally took my breath away. It’s absolutely astonishing.

Because Michelangelo thought of himself as more of a sculptor than a painter, I’m including in my gallery of inspiration one of his most stunning works, the Pietà. It’s truly a masterpiece that he completed before he turned 25 and the only one of his works that he ever signed. The Pietà was carved from a single block of Carrara marble. It was originally commissioned as a funerary monument for a Cardinal and is housed in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. It’s worth a trip to Rome just to see this incredible sculpture. All I can say is – wow.

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