Michelangelo (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Michelangelo was a true Renaissance man, excelling in sculpture, painting, architecture, and poetry. He was the supreme master of the human body, especially the male nude, and his idealized and expressive treatment of this theme was enormously influential, both in his own day and in subsequent centuries.
Michelangelo Buonarroti was the second of five sons of an aristocratic but impoverished Florentine family. He was born in the village of Caprese, near Arezzo, where his father was serving as magistrate, but before he was a month old the family returned to Florence.
From childhood Michelangelo was strongly drawn to the arts, but this inclination was bitterly opposed by his father, who considered artistic activity menial and hence demeaning to the family social status. The boy’s determination prevailed, however, and at the age of thirteen he was apprenticed to the popular painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. From Ghirlandaio he presumably learned the technique of fresco painting, but his style was formed on the study of the pioneers of Renaissance painting, Giotto and Masaccio. It was, in fact, while copying a Masaccio fresco that he was punched in the face by another apprentice. The resulting broken nose gave his face its distinctive bent...
(The entire section is 2032 words.)
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