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Michelangelo's First Training

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Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in Caprese near Arezzo on the 6th March 1475, the second of five children. His father was the Podestà  Ludovico di Leonardo di Buonarroti Simoni and his mother was Francesca, daughter of Neri di Miniato del Sera and Bonda Rucellai.
Just a few weeks after his birth, his father moved to the Tuscan county town with the whole family. Michelangelo was entrusted to a wet-nurse from Settignano, a daughter and a mother of stone-cutters. The artist always mentioned this circumstances saying that he learned to sculpture sucking milk.

In 1488, when he was 13 years old, he went to Domenico Ghirlandaio's workshop, considered one of the most important of Florence, "to learn how to paint", but after only one year (instead of three years as was established initially) he left. During his training, showing a precocious talent and an evident freedom from Buonarroti, he made several copies of some famous series of frescoes: from Giotto's Peruzzi Chapel in Santa Croce to Masaccio's Brancacci Chapel in the Church of Carmine,in Florence.
These studies showed that Michelangelo was looking for his master from among the great painters of the Florentine past; apart from Giotto and Masaccio, another artist that he chose as a model was Donatello.

A. Cocchi

Trad.: A. Sturmer




E. Bernini, R. Rota Figura 1 Editori Laterza, Bari 2002
G. Cricco, F. Di teodoro Itinerario nell'arte. Vol 2, 2000
G.C. Argan, B. Contardi in: Michelangelo Dossier Art n. 9 Giunti, Firenze
C. Alchidini Luchinat, E. Capretti, K. Weil-Garris Brandt Michelangelo. Gli anni giovanili. Dossier Art n. 150 Giunti, Firenze


Tags:Alessandra Cocchi, A. Sturmer, Michelangelo, training, .


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Michelangelo. Kneeling Angel. 1494-95. Marble. Bologna, Basilica of San Domenico.


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