Michelangelo Buonarroti


Michelangelo - self portrait


One day Michelangelo happened to overhear a group of people admiring his Pietà. One man attributed the sculpture to Il Gobbo, much to the chagrin of Michelangelo, who took particular pride in the Pietà. Returning to the sculpture after dark that evening, he carved his name on it, so that no similar mistake could occur in the future.


I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.


Anecdote 2...

The pope’s master of ceremonies pestered Michelangelo to allow him a glimpse of the Last Judgment fresco before the artist was ready to unveil it. Michelangelo took his revenge by including the official among the damned in hell, being tormented by devils. When the master of ceremonies complained to Pope Paul III, the latter replied: “God has given me authority in heaven and on earth, but my writ does not extend to hell. You will just have to put up with it.”

Michelangelo: A Closer Look

Biographical Note: 

Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, architect, painter, and poet. After an apprenticeship at Florence under Medici patronage, Michelangelo moved to Rome (1496–1501), where he produced his first important sculptures, including the Pietà in St. Peter’s. Back in Florence, he continued to produce major paintings, including The Holy Family, now in the Uffizi gallery. He was again (1505) summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II, who commissioned Michelangelo to make his tomb, a project that proved both lengthy and troublesome. Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican (1508–12), then returned again (1516) to Florence, where he worked on architectural projects for the Medicis. He later painted the Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel (1534–41) and in 1547 was appointed architect in charge of St. Peter’s, for which he designed the celebrated dome.

More Information: 

Michelangelo’s paintings, sculptures, and biography. This site also includes a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.

Image Info

The etching above is one of many self portraits by Michelangelo.