Michelangelo Florentine High Renaissance military engineer, sculptor, painter, architect and poet

born in Caprese Michelangelo (1475) and died in Rome (1564), aged 89

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Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence Florence see all

Hall of the Five Hundred Florence see all

Ignudi Vatican City see all

The Louvre Paris see all

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Museum of the Opera del Duomo of Florence Florence see all

New Sacristy Florence see all

Nudes from the "Separating the Waters" group Vatican City see all

Nudes from the ''Creation of Eve'' group Vatican City see all

Nudes from the ''Drunkenness of Noah'' group Vatican City see all

Nudes from the ''Sacrifice of Noah'' group Vatican City see all

Pendentives Vatican City see all

Piazza della Signoria Florence see all

Piazzale Michelangelo Florence see all

Saint Peters Basilica Vatican City see all

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Santa Maria sopra Minerva Rome see all

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Scenes from the Book of Genesis Vatican City see all

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Tomb of Giuliano de' Medici Florence see all

Tomb of Lorenzo de' Medici Florence see all

The Tomb of Pope Julius II Rome see all

Twelve prophetic figures Vatican City see all

Uffizi: Hall 35 – Michelangelo & the Florentines Florence see all

Creation of Adam see all

Crucifixion see all

David and Goliath see all

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Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise see all

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Figure Group

Free-Standing Sculpture

Ideal Portrait

Monumental Portrait


Portrait Bust


1475 in Caprese Michelangelo

March 6

March 6

1485 aged 10

Michelangelo attends school and is taught by humanist Francesco da Urbino.

1488 aged 13 in Florence

Michelangelo's first years in Florence were marked by his apprenticeship to Ghirlandaio and the patronage of the Medici.

April 16

Two florins are paid to Michelangelo by Domenico Ghirlandaio under the terms of his apprenticeship.

1489 aged 14

Michelangelo leaves the studio of Ghirlandaio and enters the household of Lorenzo de' Medici to study sculpture under Bertoldo di Giovanni, a pupil of Donatello.

1490s aged 15 to 25

Pietro Torrigiano breaks the nose of Michelangelo in argument while drawing in the Carmine, smashing it so hard that it never heals. The incident is described in a passage from Cellini's autobiography.

Michelangelo studies from the frescoes of Masaccio at the Carmine with other students of the Medicean Academy.

1491 aged 16

Lionardo di Buonarrota, Michelangelo's older brother, becomes a devoted follower of Girolamo Savonarola and enters the Domenican Order, effectively leaving Michelangelo as eldest son of the family.

1492 aged 17

Michelangelo creates a wood sculpture called Crucifix .

1494 aged 19 in Bologna and Florence

Michelangelo working in Bologna.

January 20

There is a heavy fall of snow in Florence, and Pietro de' Medici sends for the young Michelangelo to model a colossal snow-man in the courtyard of his palace.

1496 aged 21

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called Bacchus for a year.

1498 aged 23

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called Pietà for a year.

August 7

The contract between Michelangelo and the Cardinal di San Dionisio for the Pieta.(1)

1500s aged 25 to 35

The complicated and unsatisfactory story of Michelangelo's work on the Tomb of Pope Julius II spans much of his professional life.

1501 aged 26

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called David over the course of three years until 1504.

August 16

Source: Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style, p.12

1502 aged 27

June 30

The Marchioness of Mantua writes a letter to the Cardinal of Este, saying that she should very much like to place Michelangelo's statue of Cupid, together with an antique statue of Venus, in her own collection.

1503 aged 28

Michelangelo is commissioned to paint a mural, The Battle of Cascina, in the council hall of the Palazzo Vecchio.

Michelangelo becomes an enemy of a anatomist and painter and architect and sculptor and military engineer and scientist and inventor and writer called Leonardo da Vinci.

Michelangelo works on a bas-relief called Pitti Tondo for a year.

1504 aged 29 in Piombino

Michelangelo's colossal David is set up in front of the Palazzo della Signoria.

Michelangelo works on a tempera painting called Doni Tondo over the course of two years until 1506.

Michelangelo creates a cartoon (fresco) called The Battle of Cascina .


Leonardo's work on the cartoon of the Battle of Anghiari was suddenly interrupted in the last months of 1504, and he went to Piombino on a somewhat official mission as a military architect. (During his absence Michelangelo was to receive the commission for the Battle of Cascina.) His mission was preceded by a diplomatic action conducted by Machiavelli himself. It can be inferred, therefore, that it was Machiavelli who suggested Leonardo's name for the programme of fortification projects suggested by Jacopo IV Appiano, Lord of Piombino, an ally of the Florentines at the time of the Pisian war, 1503-4, when Leonardo had already been consulted on the project of diverting the Arno River for strategic reasons, and when Antonio da Sangallo the Elder was the chief military architect of the Florentine Republic. Leonardo's activity at Piombino, revealed by newly discovered evidence, included the study of the city walls, the citadel and the main gate.

Source: Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style, p. 95.

1505 aged 30 in Piazza della Signoria, Carrara and Rome

Michelangelo chances upon Leonardo da Vinci discussing Dante at Piazza della Signoria and berates him for his failure to cast The Horse.

Michelangelo is summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II, commissioned to create the tomb for the pope, and spends eight months in the quarries of Carrara selecting marble for the tomb.

1506 aged 31 in Rome

January 14

The classical statue of Laocoön and His Sons is unearthed in Rome. On the recommendation of Giuliano da Sangallo and Michelangelo, Pope Julius II purchases it and places it on public display in the Vatican a month later.

1507 aged 32 in Florence, Bologna and Rome

February 8

February 13

Source: Michelangelo. A record of his life told in his own letters and papers, p.37-8

February 24

March 6

Source: Michelangelo. A record of his life told in his own letters and papers, p.39-40

March 26

Source: Michelangelo. A record of his life told in his own letters and papers, p.40-1

April 28

Source: Michelangelo. A record of his life told in his own letters and papers, p.44-5

1508 aged 33 in Florence, Rome and Massa and Carrara

Michelangelo is summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II and asked to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Michelangelo works on a fresco called The Sistine Chapel Ceiling over the course of four years until 1512.


Michelangelo returns to Florence.

May 10

Source: Michelangelo. A record of his life told in his own letters and papers, p.50-1

May 10

Piero Soderini wrote to the Marquis of Massa-Carrara, begging him to retain a large block of marble until Michelangelo could come in person and superintend its rough-hewing for a colossal statue to be placed on the Piazza in Florence.

1513 aged 38

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called Moses over the course of two years until 1515.

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called Dying Slave over the course of three years until 1516.

Michelangelo creates a sculpture called Rebellious Slave .

1515 aged 40

Buonarrotto Buonarotti, brother of Michelangelo, is created Count Palatine by Pope Leo X.

1516 aged 41 in Rome

Michelangelo receives notice from Pope Leo X that he is wanted in Rome.

While Michelangelo is in Rome a reduced plan for The Tomb of Pope Julius II is adopted by him and the executors of the estate of Pope Julius II.

1517 aged 42 in Carrara

Michelangelo spends the large part of the year at Carrara, quarrying marble. He hires a house there from Francesco Pelliccia.

1519 aged 44

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called Cristo della Minerva for a year.

1520 aged 45

Michelangelo works on a sculpture and tomb called Tomb of Lorenzo de' Medici over the course of fourteen years until 1534.

March 10

A ricordo or note from Michelangelo:

1521 aged 46 in Carrara, Rome and Florence


Michelangelo despatches Pietro Urbano to Rome with orders to complete the statue of Christ Triumphant there, and to arrange with the purchaser for placing it upon a pedestal.

July 20

Michelangelo again goes to Carrara -- on the business of quarrying marbles for the tombs of S. Lorenzo -- and stays for nine days.

August 16

The contractors for Michelangelo's marble blocks to be carved into the tombs of S. Lorenzo, all of which were excavated from the old Roman quarry of Polvaccio, came to Florence, and were paid on account.


Sebastiano del Piombo writes to Michelangelo about Pietro Urbano's mistreatment of his statue of Christ Triumphant:


Michelangelo stands godfather to the infant son of Niccolo Soderini, nephew of his old patron, the Gonfalonier.

1523 aged 48 in Genoa

The Genoese enter into negotiations for a colossal statue of Andrea Doria, which they desired to obtain from the hand of Michelangelo. Its execution must have been seriously contemplated, for the Senate of Genoa banked 300 ducats for the purpose.

1524 aged 49 in Rome and Florence

Michelangelo is commissioned to design the Laurentian Library at San Lorenzo.

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called Dusk over the course of ten years until 1534.

January 13

Pope Clement VII offers Michelangelo a pension in order to retain his services. It appears that Michelangelo only asked for fifteen ducats a month, and that his friend Pietro Gondi had proposed twenty-five ducats. Fattucci rebuked him in affectionate terms for his want of pluck, informing him that "Jacopo Salviati has given orders that Spina should be instructed to pay you a monthly provision of fifty ducats." Moreover, all the disbursements made for the work at S. Lorenzo were to be provided by the same agent in Florence, and to pass through Michelangelo's hands. A house was assigned him, free of rent, at S. Lorenzo, in order that he might be near his work. Henceforth he was in almost weekly correspondence with Giovanni Spina on affairs of business, sending in accounts and drawing money by means of his then trusted servant, Stefano, the miniaturist.

March 24

Michelangelo's friend Cardinal Leonardo Grosso writes to him from Rome, on Michelangelo's depression at the course of the suit against him by the heirs of Pope Julius II regarding the incompletion of the Pope's tomb:


The Sacristy of S. Lorenzo by Michelangelo may have been walled and roofed in before the end of the month.

April 4

Antonio Mini appears to take Stefano's place as Michelangelo's right-hand man of business.


Michelangelo becomes the teacher of an art historian and painter and man called Giorgio Vasari .

1525 aged 50


Two important letters from Michelangelo to Fattucci, written in October 1525 and April 1526, show that he had then abandoned the original scheme (for the Medici tombs), and adopted one which was all but carried into effect.


Pope Clement VII makes Fattucci write to Michelangelo that he wishes to erect a colossal statue on the piazza of S. Lorenzo, opposite the Stufa Palace. The giant is to surmount the roof of the Medicean Palace, with its face turned in that direction and its back to the house of Luigi della Stufa. Being so huge, it would have to be composed of separate pieces fitted together. Michelangelo speedily knocked this absurd plan on the head in a letter.

1526 aged 51

Michelangelo begins work on the library of S. Lorenzo.

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called Night over the course of five years until 1531.

1527 aged 52 in Florence

April 29

A note from Michelangelo shows the disturbed state of Florence at the time of the uprising against the Medici:

1528 aged 53 in Florence

August 22

By a deliberation of the Signory, we are informed that the marble had been brought to Florence about three years earlier, and that Michelangelo now received instructions, couched in the highest terms of compliment, to proceed with a group of two figures until its accomplishment. If Vasari can be trusted, Michelangelo made numerous designs and models for the Cacus, but afterwards changed his mind, and thought that he would extract from the block a Samson triumphing over two prostrate Philistines. The evidence for this change of plan is not absolutely conclusive.

1529 aged 54 in Florence, Ferrara, Venice, France, Germany, Pisa, Arno and Arezzo

April 6

The War Office of Florence issues a patent recruiting Michelangelo's services as a military engineer, conferring on him full authority over the work of fortification.

June 5

Michelangelo had scarcely been chosen to control the general scheme of fortifying Florence, when the Signory began to consider the advisability of strengthening the citadels of Pisa and Livorno, and erecting lines along the Arno. Their commissary at Pisa wrote urging the necessity of Buonarroti's presence on the spot. In addition to other pressing needs, the Arno, when in flood, threatened the ancient fortress of the city. Accordingly we find that Michelangelo went to Pisa on the 5th of June, and that he stayed there over the 13th, returning to Florence perhaps upon the 17th of the month.

July 28

Furnished with letters to the Duke, and with special missives from the Signory and the Ten to their envoy, Galeotto Giugni, Michelangelo left Florence for Ferrara after the 28th of July, and reached it on the 2nd of August. He refused, as Giugni writes with some regret, to abandon his inn, but was personally conducted with great honour by the Duke all round the walls and fortresses of Ferrara. On what day he quitted that city, and whither he went immediately after his departure, is uncertain.

August 8

The Ten write to Galeotto Giugni, saying that Michelangelo's presence is urgently required at Florence, since the work of fortification is going on apace, "a multitude of men being employed, and no respect being paid to feast-days and holidays." It would also seem that toward the close of the month, Michelangelo is expected at Arezzo, in order to survey and make suggestions on the defences of the city.

September 21

Michelangelo flees Florence, abandoning his post as military engineer in charge of the city's fortifications. A letter from Michelangelo to his friend Battista della Palla on the 25th of September 1529 makes clear his reasons:

October 13

Galeotti Giugni wrote to the Florentine War Office from Ferrara, upon the subject of Michelangelo's return to Florence under safe conduct. He says that Michelangelo has beged him to intercede in his favour, and that he is willing to return and lay himself at the feet of their lordships.

October 20

In answer to Galeotto Giugni's intercession on Michelangelo's behalf for the artist to return to Florence, news is sent to Giugni that the Signory has signed a safe-conduct for Michelangelo.

October 22

Granacci pays Sebastiano di Francesco, a stone-cutter, to whom Michelangelo is much attached, money for his journey to Venice.

1530 aged 55


From the autumn of 1530 on to the end of 1533 Michelangelo worked at the Medicean monuments.

1536 aged 61

Michelangelo begins painting The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel.

1537 aged 62 in Rome

Michelangelo is granted the freedom of the city of Rome.


Hieronimo Staccoli wrote to the Duke of Camerino about a silver salt-cellar which Michelangelo had designed at his request.

1538 aged 63

Michelangelo creates a sculpture called Brutus .

January 20

Letter from the poet Pietro Aretino to Michelangelo:

1541 aged 66

December 25

Michelangelo's fresco of the Last Judgement is first revealed to the public on Christmas Day.

1542 aged 67

May 16

It is mentioned in a contract dated this day that Michelangelo assigns the architectural and ornamental portion of the tomb of Pope Julius II conjointly to Giovanni de' Marchesi and Francesco d' Amadore, called Urbino, providing that differences which may arise between them shall be referred to Donato Giannotti.

1546 aged 71

Michelangelo is appointed chief architect at Saint Peter's and the Farnese Palace.

Michelangelo gives the statues of the Rebellious Slave and the Dying Slave in the Louvre to Roberto Strozzi, for his generous hospitality in his Roman house during Michelangelo's periods of sickness in July 1544 and June 1546.

1547 aged 72

Michelangelo works on a cathedral called Saint Peters Basilica over the course of seventeen years until 1564.

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called The Deposition over the course of six years until 1553.

1550 aged 75

Giorgio Vasari publishes his 'Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects', the first book of art history scholarship. It features a prominent chapter on Michelangelo, who is still alive at this point.

1552 aged 77

Michelangelo works on a sculpture called Rondanini Pietà over the course of twelve years until 1564.

1553 aged 78

Ascanio Condivi publishes his 'Life of Michelangelo'.

1564 aged 89 in Rome

February 18

Michelangelo dies at home in Macel de'Corvi, Rome but is buried at the church of Santa Croce, Florence.

February 18

Michelangelo dies in Rome.

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people and entities

Andrea Doria admiral, condottiero
Benvenuto Cellini sculptor, goldsmith, draughtstman, flautist, soldier, writer, poet
Bertoldo di Giovanni medallist, sculptor
Giorgio Vasari art historian, painter, man
Giuliano da Sangallo military engineer, sculptor, architect
Granaccio painter
Leonardo da Vinci anatomist, painter, architect, sculptor, military engineer, scientist, inventor, writer
Lorenzo de' Medici patron, poet, ruler
Machiavelli historian
Masaccio painter
Michelangelo military engineer, sculptor, painter, architect, poet
Piero Soderini politician, politician
Pietro Aretino playwright, poet
Pope Julius II pope, cardinal



Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) Florentine Mannerist sculptor, goldsmith, draughtstman, flautist, soldier, writer and poet

Giorgio Vasari Italian Mannerist art historian, painter and man

Francesco Granacci Florentine painter

Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547) Venetian High Renaissance painter

Sebastiano di Francesco Florentine stone-cutter


Pope Leo X (1475-1521) Florentine pope

Pope Julius II (1443-1513) Italian pope and cardinal


Raphael (1483-1520) Umbrian High Renaissance painter, architect and poet

Tintoretto Venetian Mannerist costume designer, lutanist, sculptor and painter

Giorgio Vasari Italian Mannerist art historian, painter and man


Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Florentine High Renaissance anatomist, painter, architect, sculptor, military engineer, scientist, inventor and writer

Bramante (1444-1514) Italian Renaissance architect

Raphael (1483-1520) Umbrian High Renaissance painter, architect and poet


Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494) Florentine Renaissance painter


Pierino da Vinci (1529-1553) Florentine Mannerist sculptor


Pietro Urbano Italian High Renaissance sculptor

Follower of

Luca Signorelli Italian Renaissance painter and man

Donatello (1386-1466) Florentine Renaissance sculptor

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