michelangelo_david_head2Here’s a guy you have to hate, the ultimate Renaissance man. Not happy being a great painter and sculptor, the guy was also an architect, engineer, poet and a big fan of small penises. He  was also the first to go with just the one name, compelling us to celebrate


Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born on March 6, 1475 in Tuscany, but his family soon moved to Florence, the greatest center of arts and learning in Italy.

The academics didn’t thrill the boy, but the art sure did, and he spent his spare time copying great paintings and hanging around with artists.

At just 13, Michelangelo was apprenticed to the artist Domenico Ghirlandaio to help him paint the walls of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, and by 14 was getting paid as a full artist, something unprecedented but, what the hell, the kid had more talent than anyone ever.

Before long he was getting his own commissions from Medicis and popes, and creating his “Pieta,” at only 24 , considered one of the greatest sculptures in history. He followed it with another breathtaking masterpiece, this time working with a flawed slab of marble no other sculptor wanted. Michelangelo wrested perfection from imperfection to create his Statue of David by turning the figure slightly to avoid the flaws in the stone, giving David a natural, lifelike pose.

Always setting the bar higher, his next stops were painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, inventing Baroque architecture, creating one beautiful painting and sculpture after another, designing St. Peter’s Basilica and writing 400 sonnets.

The son of a bitch was probably a great singer too. People started calling him “The Divine One.” Not only that, but the man lived as simply and humbly as a monk, never flaunting his wealth or pulling rank. Was he trying to make the rest of us look shallow and thick?

•Suggested Activities: Being awestruck.

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