Michelangelo Fun Facts

Though we refer to him as Michelangelo his full name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.

Michelangelo was raised in Florence.


Michelangelo’s mother died when he was only six.

Michelangelo was the second oldest of five boys: Lionardo (b. 1473) (Michelangelo born 1475) Buonarroto (b. 1477) Giovansimone (b. 1479) Gismondo (b.1481)

Michelangelo sculpted David and Pieta, designed a dome for St. Peter’s Basilica, and painted frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel all before he was 30 years old.

Michelangelo was created the greatest living artist of his time.

Michelangelo spent four years working on the dome of the Sistine Chapel.  He stood on a scaffold and painted over his head, unlike the popular belief that he painted while laying down.  

Michelangelo died in Rome in 1564.  His remains were secretly returned to Florence and interred at the Basilica of Santa Croce, according to his wishes.

Michelangelo was hit in the nose as a teenager by Pietro Torrigiano, a fellow art student at an art academy in Florence.  The incident left him with a permanently crooked nose.

In his old age Michelangelo nearly lived as a hermit rarely coming into contact with others except when his work brought contact about.  He lived in squalor despite being rich.

Michelangelo did not marry and had no children but was rumored to have love affairs with Tommaso dei Cavalieri and the poet Vittoria Colonna.

Michelangelo wrote countless letters throughout his career, some 490 have survived and contain original signatures.

Michelangelo was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was still alive.  

From 1527-1529 Michelangelo took a break from art and joined the army to defend the Republic of Florence.  He worked as an engineer creating fortifications to protect the city.

Michelangelo was also a poet, there are some 300 poetic works still in existence that are attributed to him.  

Michelangelo was often dissatisfied with himself and his work.  He was known for his sharp, critical, volatile temperament.

Towards the end of his life Michelangelo destroyed many of his sketches not wanting people to know how hard he worked. 

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Other Great Masters

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Testa Femminile di Profilo
Testa Femminile di Profilo by Michelangelo

Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi
Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi by Michelangelo

Study of a Head
Study of a Head by Michelangelo

Ideal Head of a Warrior
Ideal Head of a Warrior by Michelangelo

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.”

More Michelangelo Quotes