Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 – 1564) was a Florentine sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. Considered to be the greatest living artist during his lifetime, he has since been described as one of the greatest artists of all time. He is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Florentine Medici client, Leonardo da Vinci.
A number of Michelangelo's works of painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. Given the sheer volume of surviving correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century.
He sculpted two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, before the age of thirty. Michelangelo 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. As an architect, Michelangelo pioneered the Mannerist style at the Laurentian Library. He succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter's Basilica. In his later years, Michelangelo also wrote over three hundred sonnets and madrigals as well as forty-eight funeral epigrams.
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