On 18 February 1564, Michelangelo died in Rome. Michelangelo is a world renowned Renaissance Italian painter, sculptor and architect and contributed exceptionally to the world of western art. Today, he is known for some of his most famous works in Italy, including the Pietà and Statue of David in Florence and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City, Rome.

Michelangelo’s Statue of David is considered as a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, that was created in marble between 1501 and 1504. It was initially supposed to be made to be placed inside the Florence cathedral, but eventually it was placed out in a Piazza for the public to see, because of its masterpiece qualities. The statue eventually came to represent and symbolize the civil liberties embodied in the Republic of Florence. It was as a result of the praise and fame that he received after producing the Statue of David that Michelangelo was invited and commissioned by the Pope to Rome to paint the ceiling of the Sistine chapel.

In 1505, Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the Sistine chapel. It was here that he decided to use a free hand to represent the creation, the fall of man, the promise of salvation through the prophets and the Genealogy of Christ. Thus, he created a work that represented the doctrine of the Catholic church at the time. Amongst the most famous paintings on the ceiling are The Creation of Adam, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden etc. His work stretches over 500 square metres of ceiling and has about 300 figures painted, making it one of his most famous and revered works worldwide. It was after he completed the ceiling of the Sistine chapel that he came to be regarded as Italy’s greatest living artist.

Michelangelo continues to be regarded as one of Italy’s greatest artists, as people from all over the world travel to Italy to view his works. His works are placed in the same ranks as those of some of the top European Renaissance painters in the world.