Michelangelo Buonarroti

Important People and Terms

Bertoldo di Giovanni - (c.1420–1491) The custodian and curator of Lorenzo de' Medici's art collection, as well as de' Medici's close friend; Michelangelo's sculpture teacher.
Donato Bramante  - (1444–1514) The most renowned and accomplished architect of the High Renaissance before Michelangelo, famous for the Tempietto and the first designs for St. Peter's.
Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni  - (1444–1530) Michelangelo's father, whom he supported for much of his later life.
Michelangelo Buonarroti  - (1475–1564) the pre-eminent artist of the High Renaissance and the subject of this SparkNote.
chiaroscuro  - A painting technique invented by Leonardo da Vinci which employs degrees of light and dark shades juxtaposed to create the effect of three-dimensional modeling.
Clement VII  - One of the Medici Popes who Michelangelo grew up with; the reigning Pope during the Sack of Rome in 1527.
Vittoria Colonna - (1490–1547) The marquess of Pescara; Michelangelo's close friend and the subject of many of his "love" poems.
Ascanio Condivi  - (c.1525-c.1574) A minor student of Michelangelo's and the author of the biography Life of Michelangelo in 1553.
Council of Trent - The Catholic Church's committee meetings to discuss and organize the Counter- Reformation; first convened in 1545, the Council decided to prohibit the use of nudes in religious art in 1563.
Counter-Reformation - The Catholic Church's attempt to reform in the wake of the Reformation and the rising popularity of Protestantism.
Leonardo da Vinci  - (1452–1519) The oldest member and father figure of the High Renaissance; a revolutionary thinker, scientist, inventor, and artist.
Donatello  - (1386–1466) Important mid-Renaissance sculptor; teacher of Bertoldo, who later taught Michelangelo.
Marsilio Ficino - A member of the court of Lorenzo de'Medici; the principal philosopher and proponent of Neoplatonism.
Domenico and David Ghirlandaio  - (1449–1494) Two popular Florentine painters in whose studio Michelangelo briefly served as an apprentice.
High Renaissance - The period from about 1495 to 1527; principally defined by the refined and extended brand of Renaissance humanist art practiced by Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Giorgione, and Titian.
humanism  - A Renaissance philosophical stance that held that the Classical age of Greece and Rome epitomized the highest standards of human cultural excellence and perfection; also emphasized the independence and sovereignty of the individual.
Julius II - The Pope who commissioned Michelangelo for his tomb and the Sistine Ceiling, among other projects.
Leo X - Another friend from Michelangelo's childhood; nephew of Lorenzo de' Medici.
Martin Luther - The leader of the Protestant Reformation; sparked an uproar against the Catholic Church after posting his "Theses" in Wittenburg in 1517.
Medici  - The most affluent and influential family in Florence; great Renaissance patrons of the arts, they supported Michelangelo as rulers of Florence and as Popes
Lorenzo de' Medici  - The philosophy that reconciled Classicism and Christianity during the Renaissance; most actively argued by Marsilio Ficino.
Paul III - The Pope who commissioned the Last Judgment and the Campidoglio, among other projects.
pieta  - A sculpture of the dead Christ being contemplated, by the Virgin Mary or other Biblical figures, after being taken down from the cross.
Pius IV - The reigning Pope when Michelangelo died in 1564 and the Pope who ordered the repainting of the nudes in the Last Judgment.
Raphael  - (1483–1520) One of the foremost Italian painters of the High Renaissance
Reformation - The religious movement that split the Catholic Church and led to the creation of Protestantism; started by Martin Luther in 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany, the Reformation quickly split Europe religiously and politically.
Renaissance  - A period that began in Italy and Northern Europe around 1400, marked by a dramatic resurgence of interest in the arts and sciences and triggered by a renewed emphasis on the ideas and art of Classical Greece and Rome.
Giuliano da Sangallo - (c.1443–1516) Architect who worked on the design and construction of St. Peter's after Bramante and before Michelangelo.
Girolamo Savonarola  - Dominican friar who led a puritanical revolt against Neoplatonism and was burned at the stake for heresy; Michelangelo met him at the palace of Lorenzo de'Medici
sfumato - A painting technique developed by Leonardo that involves a soft blending of colors to create the atmospheric effect of a mist or haze.
Titian - (1488/or '90–1576) Venetian High Renaissance painter and admirer of the Last Judgment.
Giorgio Vasari  - (1511–1574) Painter and author of Lives of the Artists, published in 1550, which included a biography of Michelangelo.