Michelangelo

On March 6,1475 a son was born to Ludovico Bunonarotti, governer, of a
village in Italy. The boy was named Michelangelo. He died on Febuary 18, 1564.
His mother died when he was very little, so his father sent him to live in the home
of a stone cutter. He was born in Caprese Italy.

The stone cutter and his wife cared for him as if he was their own son.
He loved to run through the stone squarries and watch men cutting blocks of
marble from the side of the hill. He found charcoal one day and began to draw
pictures on pieces of smooth marble. When he was ten, his father, who lived in
the city of Florence, sent for him. He had to go to school. He lived with his father
and four brother's.

Michelangelo hated school and told his father he wanted to draw pictures
and become a great artist. His father and brothers laughed at him and said
gentlemen did not become painters and that he wouldn't make any money. One
day his father heard that a well known painter had praised his son's paintings. He
sent him to school of a famous painter named Ghirlandaio.

At thirteen he went to live at the home of his teacher and was very happy.
He often helped Ghirlandaio paint his paintings. The master sometimes
wondered if Michelangelo knew more of drawing then he did himself.

Michelangelo studied other artist's works in churches. Ghirlandaio spoke
to Michelangelo's father and sent him to a school for sculptor. He studied under
the ruler of Florence Lorenzo de medci. He loved to work as a sculptor and loved
the mallet and chisel in his hand. Lorenzo de medci met with Michelangelo's
father and said he could be a brillant sculptor who could bring fame to Florence.
He asked permission for Michelangelo to live in his palace, The Medci Palace,
here he was surrounded by priceless art treasures at the age of fifteen. He
learned all about greek philosophy, myths and art.

He felt he was ugly and did not take part in the gay life at the palace. He
was shy and sad because of this and often angry and rude. His fellow students
adored his work, but found it hard to like him. One jealous boy, Torrigiano hit
Michelangelo and broke his nose. This made him even uglier. He used to visit
the hospital where monks cared for the poor and used to disect and examine
corpses of dead bodies. He saw how muscles and joints were connected and
would draw what he saw. He was interested in the construction of human forms.

After living in Medici palace for two years with fine clothes money and a
room, Lorenzo died and his son Piero became ruler of Florence. Piero allowed
France to take over. Michelangelo was terror stricken. He met a rich man
named Aldorrandi who admired his work and asked him to visit him. He stayed
their for one year. Michelangelo carved two statues for the tomb of St. Domnic in
Bologna. He was paid well. The artist's of Bologna were jealous of him and
threatened him. He was scared and sewed his money in his doublet and headed
home toward Florence. His family didn't laugh at him now for now he had money.

He hired a studio, bought marble and started to carve a sleeping cupid,
He made it look old and a friend took it to Rome, sold it as an antique to a
Cardinal. The Cardinal knew it was not an antique and sent for Michelangelo.
Here others asked him to carve statues. He made a statue of Bacchus, the
greek god of wine. Others thought he was a master and a famous banker named
Gallo felt he was the greatest sculptor in Rome. He was contracted to make a
famous statue called the "Pieta" (the virgin mary clothed, with the dead christ in
her arms)

Michelangelo did not sleep for he got pains in his head and stomach. He
ate only a piece of bread when he was hungry. His father worried about him. He
worked a whole year with out stopping until the Pieta was placed in Saint Pete's
church for all to see. People couldn't beleive how beautiful it was. He was only
twenty five at this time and carved his name on it for all to see, Michelangelo
Buonarotti. He then went home. He then carved The Maddona and child for two
men for their church. The two men then shipped it to Flanders. It had a sad but
tender face