Artist, sculptor, painter and general Major Dude, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni will forever be one of our favorites. Today's his birthday, so we thought we'd put together a few fun facts about this life and legacy. Here's five things that made him spectacular.
1. He Got More Done By Thirty Than You'll Do In A Lifetime.
Don't take that personally, it applies to me, too. Mikey sculpted two of his most famous works, David and Pieta when he was less than 30 years old. He chiseled the Pieta when he was 23. 23! That's younger than most MFA students and the piece still draws crowds by the thousands to the stunning St.Peter's Basilica.
2. St. Peter's Basilica, The Stunning Vatican City Structure That Houses Michelangelo's Famous Sculpture, The Pieta? He Made That, Too. Yep, Ol' Mike was also an accomplished architect and pioneer of the Mannerism era (it proceeded the Baroque period). So when the Basilica's original architect, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, passed away in 1546, Michelangelo took the reigns and saw the project through to completion, but added his own redesign to the layout.
3. He Was Considered A Little Porn-ey. The famous "fig leaf" campaign the Vatican brought about during the Catholic Revival, started with Michelangelo's pieces. They didn't like that Mike showed off both the bait and the tackle box, so after he died (the ultimate passive-aggressive move) they went around whacking the things off and replacing them with dainty marble and paint fig leaves. Some were later restored, but others were doomed to an eternity of impotence.
4. He Was A Scrapper It was a punch in the nose by fellow artist and student Pietro Torrigiano that left Michelangelo's schnoz a little off-kilter. Allegedly the two were copying frescoes in the Carmine chapel and Mikey said some snide comment to Pietro. Bad move, Mike. Pietro lost it and whacked Mikey in the face. Oh, art school.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
5. He Painted This:
Walking through and seeing the Sistine Chapel is both the most humbling and moving moment of my life to date. The greatness of it, the beauty... it doesn't seem as though it could have possibly been crafted by human hands. If you've never had the opportunity to visit, here's a link to a virtual tour. Go ahead, make it your happy place.
Happy Birthday, Michelangelo! You would be 537 years young today.