MichelangeloMichelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance. Born in the Republic of Florence, his work had a major influence on the development of Western art, particularly in relation to the Renaissance notions of humanism and naturalism. He is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and elder contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci. Given the sheer volume of surviving correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences, Michelangelo is one of the best-documented artists of the 16th century and several scholars have described Michelangelo as the most accomplished artist of his era.
He sculpted two of his best-known works, the ''Pietà'' and ''David'', before the age of thirty. Despite holding a low opinion of painting, he also created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and ''The Last Judgment'' on its altar wall. His design of the Laurentian Library pioneered Mannerist architecture. At the age of 71, he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter's Basilica. He transformed the plan so that the western end was finished to his design, as was the dome, with some modification, after his death.
Michelangelo was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive. In fact, two biographies were published during his lifetime. One of them, by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that Michelangelo's work transcended that of any artist living or dead, and was "supreme in not one art alone but in all three."
In his lifetime, Michelangelo was often called ''Il Divino'' ("the divine one"). His contemporaries often admired his ''terribilità''—his ability to instill a sense of awe in viewers of his art. Attempts by subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned, highly personal style contributed to the rise of Mannerism, a short-lived style and period in Western art following the High Renaissance. Provided by Wikipedia