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"I feel the world flying by and I need to catch it, to become part of its tides and currents."
―Michelangelo, in a letter to his father.[src]

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 – 1564), simply known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer.

His skill was regarded so highly that he was often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal "Renaissance man", alongside his rival and fellow Tuscan, Leonardo da Vinci.


Rivalry with Leonardo

In the late 15th century, Michelangelo wrote a letter to his father, which was delivered to him in Tuscany by Ezio Auditore da Firenze.[1]

In the message, Michelangelo revealed that he had abandoned his schooling almost a week previous, as he had "felt the world flying by," and desired to be a part of it. He stated that he wanted to live up to his father's expectations, but also asked for his blessing to become an artist, an occupation his father greatly disapproved of.[1]

At that time, Domenico Ghirlandaio had just invited Michelangelo to join him as an apprentice, and Michelangelo praised the "masterful work" he had done in the Sistine Chapel, wishing he would be able to see it one day.[1]

In 1504, Pope Julius II hired Michelangelo to complete the murals of the reconstructed Sistine Chapel. He told Ezio that Leonardo da Vinci had too many new ideas to complete such a project.[2] He also designed the inner façade of Basilica of San Lorenzo.[3]

In 1506, Michelangelo received an invitation from Sultan Bayezid II of the Ottoman Empire to work on a bridge that would span a 250-meter wide section of the Golden Horn in Constantinople. However, upon learning that the Sultan had hired his rival Leonardo first to work on the bridge, Michelangelo rejected the invitation outright.[4]

Ally of the Assassins

By 1511, Michelangelo had become a good friend of Ezio Auditore.[5] In 1515, Michelangelo wrote a letter to Ezio, informing the retired Mentor about a Templar plot in Florence. Ezio sent his two apprentices, Hiram Stoddard and Giovanni Borgia, to meet with Michelangelo and to learn what their ally had discovered.[6]

Upon learning that the Templars had found an Apple of Eden, the Assassins and Michelangelo decided to set an ambush on Dei Petrucci, the Templar who carried the artifact. However, the two apprentices failed and Petrucci fled with the Apple. Later, while in a tavern as Petrucci was still nowhere to be found, Stoddard and Borgia clashed over their failure and Michelangelo tried his best to appease the tension between the two rivals.[6]

In the 1530s, Michelangelo was hired to work on the Palazzo dei Conservatori in the Capitoline Hill. He redesigned the facade and adding gigantic Corinthian pilaster strips on high pedestals to make it a little less ostentatious.[7]