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Michelangelo's Early Career

Loredana A.

by Loredana A.

(1 reviews)
Last updated : May 14, 20243 min read

Culture

Creator of the most famous statue in the world, the David, Michelangelo represents the epitome of the Renaissance genius. He began his career in the workshop of the painter Domenico del Ghirlandaio. Ghirlandaio led a successful workshop in Florence, catering to the taste of the intellectual upper class of merchants and bankers. The frescoed chapels of two of the city's prominent families like the Tornabuoni and Sassetti offer stunning examples of Ghirlandaio's style, which blended together mastery of portraiture, innovative perspective, and brilliant use of color.  

 

According to his biographers, Michelangelo was such a talented young man that there was nothing left for him to learn there, and he left the workshop after a short time. He then entered the Garden of San Marco, where Lorenzo the Magnificent of the Medici family, the most prominent citizen of Florence, had a collection of antique sculpture. It is here where he began his career in sculpture, and Lorenzo took him in under his wing. Lorenzo was a great patron of the arts and an avid collector of antiquities. Lorenzo's patronage of the arts helped to transform Florence into the "Cradle of the Renaiassnce".  

 

Lorenzo led a group of intellectuals, poets, and philosophers called the Neoplatonists who revived the culture of the ancient world, translating ancient texts of Plato that were part of the Medici collection. It was in this circle where Michelangelo found his early inspiration and patronage, frequenting the Medici Palace. 

 

Michelangelo left Florence a few years after Lorenzo’s death in 1492 and didn’t return to Florence until 1501. This was when he signed the contract to complete the David. Michelangelo was given a huge block of Carrara marble that been quarried years before he was born and that had already been worked on by two other sculptors before him. This block, full of defects, and by now weathering away, was transformed by Michelangelo into an incredible masterpiece of Renaissance art.

 

Join me for a tour of the Accademia and learn all about the fascinating story of Michelangelo and his David. Opt for a customized tour itinerary with visits to the beautifully frescoed chapels of Ghirlandaio in Florence to learn about the art of fresco painting and the Golden Age of Lorenzo.

 

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