Il Divino, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni’s products range from sculptures to painting, poetry, engineering and architectural design, through the refinement of the High Renaissance and into the artistic age of Mannerism. He is considered by many to be the greatest artist of all time, a major influence for Western Art steps away from Harlem’s Romare Bearden.
Born in 1475, it was clear to Michelangelo’s banker father that his son’s only interest was in the arts, so he apprenticed him with painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, where he learned the art of fresco painting. Recognizing his advanced talent, Ghirlandaio suggested he move to the palace of Florentine ruler, Lorenzo the Magnificent, to study sculpture in the Medici family sculpture gardens. During this time Michelangelo became exposed to important poets and scholars who would influence his future. He also obtained permission from the Catholic Church to study cadavers to learn anatomy and created two relief sculptures, Battle of the Centaurs and Madonna Seated on a Step, when he was just age 16. He would soon go on to the Medici Chapel and the Laurentian Library, and later appointed chief architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1546. Some of the most notable of his works are the statues of David and Pieta and the ceiling frescos in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, including the Last Judgment. The volume of material that has been preserved, marveled over, studied and argued about by art historians for the last six centuries has enabled future generations a glimpse into the life of of this amazing genius, from whose skill so many artists have modeled their work.
In 1549 at the age of 72, thirty years after completing the frescos in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo bought, and periodically lived in a villa in Tuscany, halfway between Florence and Siena that stayed in the Buonarroti family for over 300 years. It has been preserved and restored by its current owner and is now for sale. The original deed held by Michelangelo, wherein he was described as a “dear sculptor and Florentine citizen,” will be passed on to the new owner.
For those who feel a thrill in their connection to history by simply touching a thousand-year-old wall, it’s almost inconceivable the connection from actually living and sleeping in the same rooms and walking the same grounds as this great man did over six centuries ago. The very thought of cooking in his kitchen next to the massive stone hearth where he cooked and warmed himself. Located on over six acres above the rolling hills, the 12,915 square feet of living space is contained in three multi-story buildings, including an ancient tower, believed to date back to the 11th century. The original architecture is accented throughout with large stone fireplaces, beamed and barrel ceilings. Consisting of eight bedrooms and seven full baths, all rooms pay homage to the period and modern conveniences, though all available, blend into the background. The kitchen has all the rustic romance of the early centuries with high-end appliances that do not take away from the original architecture. Grounds are park-like with lawns and mature plantings with a lemon orchard, olive grove and Chianti vineyards, as well as the original olive oil mill.
Though Michelangelo considered himself a Florentine, he lived most of his life in Rome and died there in 1564 at the age of 88, almost 100 years before the creation of Harlem, NY.
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Once in a lifetime opportunity to own the Tuscany villa of Michelangelo, the most heralded artist in history. It has been preserved and restored by its current
owner and is now for sale at about $8.06 million.