Saint Peter\'s Basilica

Michelangelo’s Life and Works
Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475 in Caprese, Italy. He worked as a painter, sculptor, architect, and poet until he was almost ninety. As a student he studied the Bible, and used the stories and people in it for his painting and sculptures. “He was one of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance, a period when the arts and sciences flourished.”(Michelangelo) At the age of twelve he became an apprentice to a prominent painter, but soon began to study sculptures instead. Somewhere between 1496 and 1501 Michelangelo was in Rome creating the “Bacchus” and the “Pieta”. The “Bacchus” was one of the few pagan works that Michelangelo created. The “Pieta” was Michelangelo’s vision of Madonna and Christ, and one of his most famous works of art. Mary being presented as peaceful and the realistic structures makes it a good example of Renaissance art. Between 1501 and 1504 Michelangelo began and completed the sculpture “David”.

Somewhere between 1505 and 1508 he was called by Pope Julius II to make a tomb for the Pope. Somewhere between 1508-1512 he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with the stories of the book of Geniuses. “The story of Creation that the ceiling spells out is far from simple, partly because Michelangelo was an exceedingly complicated man, partly because he dwells here on profundities of theology that most people need to spelt out for them, and partly because he has balanced his biblical themes and events with giant ingnudi.”(WebMuseum) “ Scholars debate whether he had any guidance from the Church in the selection of the scenes, and what meaning the scenes were to convey.” (Michelangelo) Late in 1533, Michelangelo settled in Rome and painted the “The Last Judgement on the alter wall of the Sistine Chapel. It was the largest painting of his time.

Michelangelo was made chief architecture of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1546. He created the Saint Peter’s Basilica, which was one of his best achievements. It became a model dome for domes all over the world. He did two Frescoes in the Pauline Chapel in 1550 “The conversion of Paul” and “The Crucifixion of Peter.” He died on February 18, 1564 before he could complete his third “Pieta.”


The youthful Mary is sitting holding the dead Christ acrossed her lap. Mary appears to be very sadden which of course we would expect.