Famous paintings in Italy
Michelangelo is widely considered one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance period all time. Everyone knows the name Michelangelo. Heck, they even named a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle after him (that’s how you know you’ve made it). His most famous works – the Sistine Chapel, Pieta, and the sculpture of David – have been carefully preserved over the years, ensuring future generations will be able to admire their beauty and appreciate Michelangelo’s genius.
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Michelangelo’s Most Famous Works
Michelangelo’s most famous works have to be his Pieta, his sculpture of David, and his painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, both of which reside in Italy.
In 1498, Michelangelo was commissioned by the French cardinal Jean Bilhères de Lagraulas to sculpt a Pietà – a statue depicting a draped Virgin Mary with her dead son resting in her arms. Carved from a single block of marble, Michelangelo’s work stands 69 inches tall, featuring two intricate figures. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.
To this day, the Pietà attracts legions of visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Sculpture of David
In 1501, Michelangelo was commissioned to create a huge male figure for the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. He chose to depict the young David from the Old Testament. When it was finished, the statue was placed in a public square, outside the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of civic government in Florence, and not in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Today, the 17-foot tall sculpture resides in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.
The Sistine Chapel
In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to depict the 12 apostles on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. However, Michelangelo demanded creative freedom. Instead of the 12 apostles, Michelangelo painted nine scenes from the first book of the Bible, Genesis, surrounded by seven prophets and five sibyls (female prophets of myth). The most famous of these paintings is The Creation of Adam, which depicts God and Adam outstretching their hands to one another.