Michelangelo (di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the Renaissance period. In his lifetime, Michelangelo was often called Il Divino (“the divine one”). It is said today that he exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. A number of scholars have described Michelangelo as the greatest artist of his age and even as the greatest artist of all time.
A number of Michelangelo’s works of painting, sculpture and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in these fields was prodigious; given the sheer volume of surviving correspondence, sketches and reminiscences, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. He sculpted two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, before the age of thirty.
Michelangelo created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and The Last Judgment on its altar wall. His design of the Laurentian Library pioneered Mannerist architecture. At the age of 74, he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica. He transformed the plan so that the western end was finished to his design, as was the dome, with some modification, after his death.