What Did Michelangelo Contribute to Art?

Michelangelo was an Italian painter, sculptor and architect of the Renaissance period who contributed a great deal to art, particularly his David and Pietà sculptures, as well as the Sistine Chapel ceiling painting. Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy.

The Pietà was a commissioned work from a French cardinal visiting Rome, where Michelangelo was working, in 1498. The cardinal wished to have this work done as a decoration for his future tomb. Currently, the Pietà is located in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and it draws thousands of visitors more than 500 years after its creation.

Michelangelo was contracted to create a male figure out of marble for the purpose of enhancing Florence's Duomo in 1501. He chose to depict young David from the Old Testament in a 17-foot-tall marble statue. The statue currently is kept at the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Florence.

In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling with the 12 apostles. However, Michelangelo instead painted seven prophets and five sibyls around the ceiling's border, filling the center with scenes from Genesis. The most famous of these is "The Creation of Adam" painting, in which God and Adam are seen outstretching their fingers toward one another.