Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born on the 6th of March 1475, in the Republic of Florence in modern day Italy. During his childhood he learned to cut stone and at the age of 13 he was apprenticed to the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. When he was just 15 years old he attended the Humanist academy founded by the famous de Medici family, and his career began to take off.
At the age of 21 Michelangelo headed to Rome where he received a commission for a Pietà - a sculpture showing the Virgin Mary grieving over the body of Jesus. This is a subject he returned to again in later life as his own death drew nearer.
Michelangelo returned to Florence in 1499 where he remained for 6 years. During this time he created his most famous sculpture, David. Then, in 1505 Michelangelo returned to Rome after he received a commission to create a tomb for Pope Julius II. He was also tasked with painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This became the most famous of all his paintings and it took him four years to complete.
Michelangelo died in Rome on the 8th of February 1564 and is buried at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence. Remembered mostly for his sculptures, he was also a painter, an architect, a poet, and an engineer; a true Renaissance man. He is undoubtedly a contender for the title 'the greatest artist ever to have lived'.