To produce one of the world’s great masterpieces is impressive. To create three is truly astonishing – but this is exactly what Michelangelo did five hundred years ago. With his own hands he designed and created the most famous sculpture in the world – the David; the most awe-inspiring painting – the ceiling of the Sistine chapel; and one of the world’s greatest buildings – the dome of St Peter’s, the jewel in the crown of the Roman skyline.
In the year that the David celebrates its 500th anniversary, BBC ONE brings to life the story of one of the most gifted, and tempestuous, artists in history. From a traumatic childhood, Michelangelo rose to the heady heights of artistic genius as sculptor, painter, architect and poet.
His work is on such a scale, of such awesome power and breathtaking beauty, that for centuries people couldn’t believe it was created by a mortal. Michelangelo’s extraordinary life spanned almost 90 years from 1475 to 1564. He was a complex character: at times bad-tempered and paranoid, at others generous and affectionate.
His passion for art, for beauty and for God was his driving force throughout his life.