Michelangelo was born on 6 March 1475 in a Caprese – named afterwards Caprese Michelangelo – a little town in the remote countryside near Arezzo, south of Florence.
Caprese and Florence: Michelangelo there and back again
The Buonarroti family was living there at the time because Michelangelo’s father, Ludovico, had taken a Florentine government post in Caprese.
Some months later, the family went back to to the Florence area, where Michelangelo grew up, and where he will become one of the most important figures of his time…
Michelangelo in Settignano, the “city of stone”
At that time babies were normally raised by nannies or nurses who would breastfeed them and also the little genius to be spent his first years with a nurse in Settignano, where the family owned a farm, on the hills around Florence.
Settignano’s Pietra Serena
Settignano for centuries was the town where the grey limestone, (the pietra serena, which decorates many Renaissance buildings in Florence) used to be excavated and carved by the local people.
Michelangelo probably developed his love for sculpture already in his early life when he could see the stonedressers at work in Settignano.
Later on in his life he liked to say that his love for sculpture and marbles had got into his blood already when he was a little child since he had been breastfed by a woman who was a daughter and wife of stone – cutters.
Ludovico sent his son to study grammar under the Humanist Francesco da Urbino, but he showed more interest in Arts than academy.
The dawn of a genius
In June 1487 he began his apprenticeship under the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, who at that time was working at the frescoes for the family Tornabuoni in their chapel in Santa Maria Novella.
Recommended by Ghirlandaio, Michelangelo in 1490 was admitted to study the sculptures in the Garden of san Marco under the protection of Lorenzo de Medici.
From this time on he was captured by sculpture already, and just few years later he created wonderful masterpieces like the Pietà in the Vatican and the David in Florence!
Happy birthday Michelangelo!