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Sculptor painter architect Michelangelo was the greatest artist during the Italian Renaissance a period known for its creative activity Comptonss 1998 Michelangelo created many of the works of art that we think of when we think of the Renaissance In a time where art flourished only with patronage Michelangelo was caught between the conflicting powers and whims of the Medici family in Florence and the Papacy in Rome Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born on March 6 1475 He was born in Caprese Italy a tiny village that belonged to the nearby city-state of Florence A few months after his birth the family returned to their permanent residence in Florence He came from a family that had for several generations been small-scale bankers in Florence his father failed to maintain this status He had only occasional government jobs At an early age his father recognized his intelligence and sent him to the school of a master who taught grammar His mind however was on art not his studies Painters and sculptors at work fascinated Michelangelo He made friends with a student who encouraged him to follow his own artistic vocation When Michelangelo was thirteen his father was a minor Florentine official with connections to the Medici family At this time his father reluctantly agreed to apprentice him to the citys most prominent painters the Ghirlandajo brothers Comptons 1998 Unsatisfied because the brothers refused to teach him their art secrets he played hooky and discovered the gardens of the Monastery of San Marco Lorenzo the Magnificent head of the Medici family had brought many ancient Greek and Roman statues to these gardens These works and those commissioned were intended to bring glory to the family name and make political statements Without his fathers knowledge or permission Michelangelo went to work under Bertoldo the curator of the gardens and a talented sculptor Lorenzo saw a marble fauns head carved by Michelangelo and liked it so much
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