Excerpted from
Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, Architecture

(see also Biography of Michelangelo)

C H R O N O L O G Y

1475 March 6. Born in Caprese.
1481 Death of his mother, Francesca Neri di Miniato del Sera.
c. 1485 Attends the grammar school of the humanist Francesco da Urbino (to 1488?).
Michelangelo's father remarries.
1487 Michelangelo documented in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio.
c. 1490 In the Medici household (to 1492). Probable years of the Madonna of the Stairs and Battle of the Centaurs.
1492 Death of Lorenzo de'Medici.
1494 Expulsion of the Medici from Florence.
1494-1495 Michelangelo in Bologna. Carves figures for the tomb of St. Dominic.
1495 Returns to Florence, which is under the sway of the Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola. Carves St. John the Baptist and the Sleeping Cupid.
1496 First trip to Rome (arrives June 25).
1496-1501 In Rome. Carves the Bacchus and the Rome Pietà.
1501 Returns to Florence. Contracts to carve figures for the Piccolomini altar and receives the commission to carve the David.
1503 Commission for the twelve apostles, including St. Matthew, for the Florentine cathedral (Duomo).
c. 1503-1505 Completes the Doni Tondo, Taddei Tondo, Pitti Tondo, and Bruges Madonna.
1504 Completes the David. Receives commission to paint the Battle of Cascina.
1505 Summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II; commissioned to create the tomb for the pope. Spends eight months in the quarries of Carrara selecting marble for the tomb.
1505-1545 Michelangelo works on the tomb of Julius II on and off, in both Rome and Florence, carving Moses, the Rebellious and Dying Slaves, Rachel, and Leah.
1506 Returns to Florence (April). Michelangelo and Pope Julius II reconcile in Bologna (November). Commissioned to execute a bronze statue of Pope Julius II in Bologna (destroyed).
1507 In Bologna working on the bronze statue of Julius II.
1508 Returns to Florence (February). Summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II and asked to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (May).
1508-1512 In Rome painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (finished October 1512).
1513 Death of Pope Julius II. Election of Giovanni de'Medici as Pope Leo X. Signs new contract for the tomb of Pope Julius II.
1514 Commission for the Risen Christ, and the Chapel of Pope Leo X in Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome.
1516 Returns to Florence (July). Commission to erect the façade of the Medici church of San Lorenzo in Florence. Signs third contract for the tomb of Pope Julius II.
1516-1519 Makes numerous trips to the marble quarries at Carrara and Pietrasanta for the San Lorenzo façade project.
c. 1517 Commission to design the "Kneeling Windows" for the Medici Palace.
1519 Commission to design the New Sacristy, or Medici Chapel, for San Lorenzo.
1520 Contract for the façade of San Lorenzo cancelled.
1521 Death of Pope Leo X. Begins work on the tombs for the Medici Chapel.
1523 Election of Giulio de'Medici as Pope Clement VII.
1524 Commission to design the Laurentian Library at San Lorenzo.
1527 Sack of Rome (May 6). Exile of the Medici from Florence (May 17).
1527-1530 The Last Republic in Florence. Commission to carve a Hercules (never executed). Michelangelo designs and builds fortifications.
1529-1530 Siege of Florence by the combined forces of Pope Clement VII and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
c. 1530 Carves Apollo/David.
1532 Visits Rome, meets Tommaso de'Cavalieri. Presents Cavalieri with gifts of drawings and poems. Signs new contract for the tomb of Pope Julius II.
1533 Reliquary Tribune balcony in San Lorenzo completed.
1534 Death of Pope Clement VII. Election of Alessandro Farnese as Pope Paul III. Michelangelo departs Florence, never to return. Medici Madonna and Victory left incomplete in Florentine workshop. Spends remaining thirty years of his life in Rome.
1536 Begins painting the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. Meets Vittoria Colonna.
1538 Begins work on the Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio).
c. 1540 Carves bust of Brutus.
1541 Last Judgment completed and unveiled.
1542 Contracts with Pope Julius' heirs for the final version of the pope's tomb (August). Begins work on the Pauline Chapel.
1545 Tomb of Julius II completed and installed in San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome. Still working on the Pauline Chapel frescoes (to 1550).
1546 Death of Antonio da Sangallo; Michelangelo appointed chief architect of St. Peter's and the Farnese Palace.
1547 Death of Vittoria Colonna. Begins work on the Florentine Pietà for his own tomb (abandoned c. 1555).
1550 Publication of the first edition of Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.
1553 Publication of Ascanio Condivi's Life of Michelangelo.
1555 Death of Urbino, Michelangelo's favorite servant/assistant. Begins work on the Rondanini Pietà.
1559-1560 Designs for San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Rome.
c. 1560 Commission for the Sforza Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome.
1561 Commissions for the Porta Pia and Santa Maria degli Angeli in Rome.
1564 February 18. Dies at home in Macel de'Corvi, Rome.


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