Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance.
He became a famous sculptor by choice; and a famous painter, especially of the Sistine Chapel frescoes, and famous architect, including of St Peter’s Church in Rome, by pressure of his patrons.
Prominent among those patrons were the Medici dynasty.
At first, they were medical doctors. Later, after deciding more money might be made outside the medical profession, businessmen.
Still later, the richest businessmen of Florence, Michelangelo‘s native city.
Economic power led to political power, and the Medici became the hereditary princes of Florence.
Also often princes of Rome, as family members became popes.
She was fourteen when she was married (arranged by her uncle, Pope Clement VII de Medici; on October 28, 1533), at Marseille, to the duke of Orléans.
At her wedding ceremony, Catherine is thought to have worn the first pair of high heels in recorded history.
The duke of Orléans’ older brother François was alive at the time, but he would become King Henry II of France.
After Michelangelo’s death, Maria de Medici became queen of France.
Though some French old aristocrats despised her as a “fat banker’s daughter”, the French royals needed the Medici money.
Not just through working, often against his will, for popes, was Michelangelo linked to the social and political contradictions of his times.
Like his friend, poetess Vittoria Colonna, he opposed hard line anti Protestant counter reformation within the Roman Catholic church.
At the moment, there is an exhibition of Michelangelo’s drawings in Teyler’s museum in Haarlem in The Netherlands.
During Michelangelo’s life, there was no exhibition of his drawings.
Michelangelo valued drawing greatly; but not so much as an end in itself.
More as a necessary basis for his work in sculpture, painting, and architecture.
After Michelangelo’s death, his drawings were dispersed.
The Haarlem exhibition is a unique reunification of three important Michelangelo drawings museum collections: of Teyler’s museum itself; of the British museum in London; and of the Ashmolean museum in Oxford.
This means, eg, reunification here of a series of drawings, studies for the same sculpture.
From 28 January till 28 May 2006, another exhibition in Teyler’s museum will be on dinosaurs and dragons.
Medieval frescoes of Rome: here.