Culture and Recreation

Fine Art

Did Michelangelo study anatomy?

Yes: In 1492 Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564), a master sculptor of the human form, undertook the study of anatomy based on the dissection of corpses from the Hospital of Santo Spirito.

Perhaps most well known for his sculptures of David (1501–04) and Moses (1515–15), as well as his frescoes on the ceiling and walls of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo was also an architect who believed that buildings should follow the form of the human body “to the extent of disposing units symmetrically around a central and unique axis, in a relationship like that of the arms to the body.” He also wrote poetry; he was a true Renaissance man.

Michelangelo was totally absorbed in his work and was known to be impatient with himself and with others. He has been likened to German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) since the personal letters of both men reveal a “deep sympathy and concern for those close to them, and profound understanding of humanity informs their works” (Gardner’s Art through the Ages).


This is a web preview of the "The Handy History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App