I had cause to think that if I remained in Rome, my tomb would be made sooner than the Pope's. That was the reason for my sudden departure. [From a letter to his friend Giuliano Sangallo]
His full name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, and he’s considered one of the finest world artists and truly a Renaissance man, as he was not only a talented painter and sculptor, but also an architect and poet. Born in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany, he was connected with Rome and Florence throughout his life. At the age of 13, he became an apprentice in the workshop of artist Domenico Ghirlandaio, who later introduced him to the powerful Lorenzo de' Medici. His first sculptures were 'Madonna of the Steps' and 'Battle of the Centaurs'. In 1492, Michelangelo moved to Venice, Bologna and finally Rome, where he carved the famous 'Pieta' for St. Peter's. He created 'David' later on, in Florence. In 1505, the artist was invited to the Vatican by Pope Julius II to build a tomb for him, which took 40 years. In the meantime, he worked on painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel until 1512, and in 1536 he painted the fresco 'The Last Judgement 'there. The chief architect of St. Peter's since 1546, Michelangelo also designed its impressive dome. He wrote over a hundred sonnets to his beloved friend Vittoria Colonna. He was buried in Florence, where his body had been secretly transported.