Michelangelo was born on 6 March 1475 in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany. As a young boy Michelangelo was sent to Florence to study grammar under the Humanist Francesco da Urbino. The young artist, however, showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches and seek the company of painters.
Statue of David
Michelangelo completed his most famous work, the Statue of David, in 1504. The masterwork definitively established his prominence as a sculptor of extraordinary technical skill and strength of symbolic imagination. A team of consultants, including Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, was called together to decide upon its placement, ultimately the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. It now stands in the Academia while a replica occupies its place in the square.
The Sistine Chapel ceiling was painted between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling is a flattened barrel vault supported on twelve triangular pendentives that rise from between the windows of the chapel. The commission, as envisaged by Pope Julius II, was to adorn the pendentives with figures of the twelve apostles. Michelangelo, who was reluctant to take the job, persuaded the Pope to give him a free hand the composition. The resultant scheme of decoration awed his contemporaries and has inspired other artists ever since. The scheme is of nine panels illustrating episodes from the Book of Genesis, set in an architectonic frame. On the pendentives, Michelangelo replaced the proposed Apostles with Prophets and Sibyls who heralded the coming of the Messiah.