Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or more commonly known by his first name Michelangelo (; Italian: [mikeˈlandʒelo di lodoˈviːko ˌbwɔnarˈrɔːti siˈmoːni]; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) was an Italian sculptor , painter , architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence , who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art . Considered by some the greatest living artist during his lifetime, he has since been described as one of the greatest artists of all time . Despite making few forays beyond the arts , his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man , along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci .
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. Despite holding a low opinion of painting , he also 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 .
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