Even as a lad, Michelangelo knew that he was destined to create despite his father's attempts to beat the notion out of him. And, indeed, he left us a great many masterpieces, in sketches, sculpture, painting, and architecture. The David, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica are perhaps his best-known accomplishments. But there are many works by Michelangelo, some in varying stages of completion, still available to us today, more than 450 years after his death.
Michelangelo is one of the most studied artists of all time. His legacy lives on through his creations.
But did you know the context in which Michelangelo worked? Did you know that his was an era riven by political strife? Did you know that he almost lost his life -- by assassination -- for his political views? Did you know that if he'd died then, he would never have had a chance to paint the Last Supper or complete the Vatican basilica?
Do you consider the arts and culture an essential part of life, worth protecting for future generations?
Well, so did Michelangelo’s first patron: Lorenzo de' Medici.
Lorenzo de' Medici is better known to history by his nickname: Lorenzo the Magnificent. In his case, greatness skipped a generation: he was born on January 1, 1449, into the powerful Medici family and inherited more of the skills used by his grandfather, Cosimo, to elevate the banking family to prominence than did his father, Piero.
Cosimo, who recognized the boy's promise, saw to it that Lorenzo was groomed to lead.