The life of Michelangelo


Michelangelo Buonarroti remains arguably the most powerful artist in the Western canon and a touchstone for all artistic endeavor. Painter, sculptor, architect, poet, he redefined not only the possibilities of the imagination, but also the very image of the artist. He was the first artist to be the subject of a biography in his lifetime, with the publication of Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects in 1550. Dissatisfied with Vasari’s treatment, Michelangelo encouraged his close friend and fellow painter Ascanio Condivi to publish a rival biography. This compelling narrative of genius and its struggles in the treacherous world of Papal politics remains one of the most fascinating and influential texts in art history.