Anita Roddick Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Spouse, Children and Cause of death

Anita Roddick Biography

Anita Riddick is the popular name of a rich woman whose birthname is Dame Anita Lucia Roddick DBE was a British entrepreneur, human rights advocate, and environmentalist who is best known as the creator of The Body Shop, now known as The Body Shop International Limited, a cosmetics company that manufactures and sells natural beauty products and had a significant impact on ethical consumerism. She was born on October 23, 1942, and died on September 10, 2007.

The business was among the first to forbid the use of components in some of its products that were subjected to animal testing and among the first to advocate for fair trade with developing nations.

Anita wiki

Born name: Anita Lucia Perilli

Date of birth: 23 October 1942

Birth place: Littlehampton, West Sussex, UK

Died on: 10 September 2007 at the aged of 64 in Chichester, West Sussex, UK

Nationality: British

Fame for: Businesswoman, founder of The Body Shop, charity work.

Title: Dame

Spouse: Gordon Roddick (m. 1970–2007, her death)

Children: Justine, Sam


Roddick participated in activism and campaigns for social and environmental causes, working with organizations like Greenpeace and The Big Issue.

Roddick established Children on the Edge in 1990. This nonprofit organization aids underprivileged children in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia.

She thought that since business had more clout in society than either church or government, it ought to provide some moral leadership.

She started supporting the Angola Three, three African-American inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary who had previously been confined in solitary confinement for several years, in the late 1990s.

She contributed to the awareness- and money-raising campaigns to support their appeals of unfair trials.

Anita The Body Shop

In order to provide for herself and her two girls while her husband was gone in South America, Roddick founded the first Body Shop in 1976.

She aimed to offer high-quality skincare products in refillable bottles and sample quantities, all of which were advertised honestly rather than exaggeratedly.

Six months later, she launched a second store. When her spouse came home, he joined the company.

By 1991, the Body Shop had 700 branches, and Roddick was awarded the 1991 World Vision Award for Development Initiative. In 1996 she told Third Way:

The original Body Shop was a series of brilliant accidents. It had a great smell, it had a funky name. It was positioned between two funeral parlours—that always caused controversy.

It was incredibly sensuous. It was 1976, the year of the heatwave, so there was a lot of flesh around.

We knew about storytelling then, so all the products had stories. We recycled everything, not because we were environmentally friendly, but because we didn’t have enough bottles. It was a good idea.

What was unique about it, with no intent at all, no marketing nous, was that it translated across cultures, across geographical barriers and social structures. It wasn’t a sophisticated plan, it just happened like that.

Ruby, a size 16 doll with a passing similarity to Barbie, was created by Roddick in 1997 as part of the Body Shop’s most popular campaign ever.

The positioning was created by ethical communications firm Host Universal, from which the campaign emerged.

They conceptualized the picture of the doll with the red hair who was dressed just in her underwear, hands behind her head, and wind in her hair. Steve Perry served as the photographer.

By 2004, the Body Shop had 1980 stores, serving more than 77 million customers throughout the world. It was voted the second most-trusted brand in the United Kingdom, and 28th top brand in the world.

On 17 March 2006, L’Oréal purchased Body Shop for £652 million. Some controversy and criticism was raised, as L’Oréal was known to use animal testing and the company was part-owned by Nestlé.

The latter had been criticised for its treatment of third-world producers. Roddick addressed the issues directly in an interview with The Guardian. It reported that

“she sees herself as a kind of ‘Trojan horse’ who by selling her business to a huge firm will be able to influence the decisions it makes. Suppliers who had formerly worked with the Body Shop will in future have contracts with L’Oréal, and whilst working with the company 25 days a year Roddick was able to have an input into decisions.”

Charity work

As a result of her visits to Romanian orphanages, Roddick founded Children on the Edge (COTE) in 1990.

COTE was established to assist in managing the crisis of subpar conditions in the overcrowded orphanages and worked to deinstitutionalize the children over the course of their early life.

Roddick was known for her campaigning work on environmental issues and served on the advisory council of the Demos think tank.

COTE’s mission is to help disadvantaged children affected by conflicts, natural disasters, disabilities, and HIV/AIDS.

In the late 1990s, Roddick became involved in the case of the Angola Three, African-American men who had been held for more than two decades in solitary confinement at Louisiana State Penitentiary.

She helped raise international awareness of their case and funds to support appeals of their flawed convictions.

On 13 December 2005, the National Post reported that Roddick had announced that she intended to use her fortune for philanthropy; it was estimated at £51 million ($104 million). This was before her sale of her business to L’Oreal.

Roddick wrote the book Take It Personally. She encouraged equality and an end to the exploitation of workers and children in underdeveloped countries.

After her death in 2007, her husband, Gordon Roddick, founded 38 Degrees in her memory. He said, “I knew what would make Anita really laugh would be to cause a lot of trouble.”

The Roddick Foundation awarded CAGE, an organization run by Mozzam Begg, four grants totaling £120,000 between 2009 and 2014 “to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror”.

The Foundation, along with two other charities, agreed to cease funding CAGE under pressure from the Charity Commission, which had expressed concern that funding CAGE risked damaging public confidence in charity.

Lord Carlile, formerly the British Government’s independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, said: “I would never advise anybody to give money to CagePrisoners. I have concerns about the group”.

In 2015, the charity commission agreed to cease to interfere with charities’ right to fund CAGE, if they wished, following a judicial review.

A British Cabinet Minister and US intelligence allegedly put pressure on the charity commission to look into CAGE, according to testimony heard during the judicial review.

Roddick and Littlehampton Community School were great friends. It submitted a successful application in 2003 to become a school specializing in business and enterprise. Roddick contributed a large portion of the needed funds.

Because of this gift, a new structure constructed with this money was given the name The Roddick Enterprise Centre (often abbreviated as “REC”).

The Littlehampton College also sponsors “Roddick Days,” including “Day of Action” and “One World,” which provide students the opportunity to become involved in their community and learn about current issues.


Roddick received a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis in 2004 as a result of a protracted hepatitis C infection. Her sickness wasn’t disclosed until February 14th, 2007.

I have hepatitis C, Roddick declared. Although rather disappointing, you sigh and continue. She then ran a campaign to raise awareness of the condition and supported The Hepatitis C Trust’s efforts.

Less than two weeks before she passed away, on August 30, 2007, Roddick appeared as a special guest on a Channel 5 UK episode of the live television series Doctor, Doctor. She spoke with the speaker and general practitioner Mark Porter about hepatitis C.

Roddick explained that her hepatitis C was unexpectedly diagnosed in 2004, following a blood test that was part of a medical examination needed for a life insurance policy.

The blood test indicated abnormal liver function and subsequent blood tests diagnosed hepatitis C. Roddick explained that she had a large blood transfusion in 1971, after the birth of her younger daughter, and that she was convinced that the transfusion had infected her with hepatitis C.

This was about twenty years before blood donors in the United Kingdom were screened for hepatitis C.

Her primary symptoms of liver cirrhosis, according to her report, were itching and impaired focus. She made a passing note of how interferon therapy was not suitable for her.

She maintained an active lifestyle, had biannual outpatient hospital checkups in Southampton, and was being monitored by the liver transplant specialists at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, according to Roddick.

Death and legacy

On September 10, 2007, at around 6:30 p.m., Roddick passed away from an abrupt cerebral hemorrhage after being brought to St. Richard’s Hospital in Chichester the night before due to a terrible headache.

She bequeathed her estate to charity rather than her family and friends, as she had previously said.

She left all of her £51 million wealth to charity when she passed away, it was revealed when information about her estate was made public.


According to a May 2002 story by Jon Entine in The Globe and Mail, Roddick had taken the name, idea, and original brochures from the original Body Shop, which had three locations when Roddick visited the Bay Area in the early 1970s and had been founded in Berkeley, California, in 1970.

Roddick’s original brochures were verbatim copies of material produced by the Berkeley-based Body Shop.

When Roddick decided to expand her multinational corporation into the United States, she bought the rights to the Body Shop name for $3.5 million from the original shop owners.

They were required to sign a confidentiality agreement at the time. The US Body Shop renamed itself Body Time, and remained in operation until April 2018.

Entine further mentioned that despite Roddick’s denials, Roddick’s Body Shop did not donate to charities throughout its first 11 years of business.

In March 1976, The Body Shop debuted in Brighton. In 1984, the firm started trading on the stock market.

In 1985, Greenpeace banners received the first sponsorship, which was made feasible by the revenue produced by the IPO.


She has bagged so many awards. Below we have the list of some her awards.

>> Veuve Clicquot Businesses Woman of the Year in 1984.

>> Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1988.

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>> Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sussex 1988.

>> Center for World Development Education’s World Vision Award, USA in 1991.

>> Banksia Foundation’s Australia Environmental Award in 1993.

>> Mexican Environmental Achiever Award in 1993.

>> National Audubon Society Medal, USA in 1993.

>> Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics, USA in 1994.

>> University of Michigan’s Annual Business Leadership Award, USA in 1994.

>> University of Victoria, Honorary Doctorate, Canada in 1995.

>> Women’s Business Development Center’s First Annual Woman Power Award, USA in 1995.

>> Women’s Center’s Leadership Award, USA in 1996.

>> The Gleitsman Foundation’s Award of Achievement, USA in 1996.

>> United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Honouree, Eyes on the Environment in 1997.

>> Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Bath in 1999.

>> British Environment & Media Award in 1999.

>> Chief Wiper-Away of Ogoni Tears, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, Nigeria in 1999.

>> International Peace Prayer Day Organisation’s Woman of Peace in 2001.

>> Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2003.

>> Honorary Doctorate of Public Service, The Sage Colleges in 2004.

>> Shell liveWIRE survey of inspirational role models, third place after 1) Richard Branson 2) Friends/family 3) Anita Roddick 4) James Dyson 5) Sahar Hashemi in 2005.

>> Spirit of the Rainforest Award, Rainforest Action Network in 2006.

Read about Michelangelo

The High Renaissance artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, often known as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet.

He lived from 6 March 1475 to 18 February 1564. His Republic of Florence-born painting was influenced by ancient antiquity and had a long-lasting impact on Western art.

Along with his adversary and more senior colleague, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo is considered the prototypical Renaissance man due to his inventiveness and expertise in a variety of artistic fields.

One of the best-documented painters of the 16th century is Michelangelo, given the enormous amount of correspondence, drawings, and memoirs that have survived. Contemporary biographers praised him as the most talented artist of his day.

Michelangelo Wiki

Born name: Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Date of birth: 6 March 1475

Place of birth: Caprese, Republic of Florence

Died: 18 February 1564 in Rome, Papal States

Known for: Sculpturepaintingarchitecturepoetry

Notable work: Pietà (1498–1499), David (1501–1504), Sistine Chapel ceiling (1508–1512), Moses (1513–1515), The Last Judgment (1536–1541)

The Pietà and David, two of Michelangelo’s most famous masterpieces, were created before the artist was thirty.

The images from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome and The Last Judgment on its altar wall are two of Michelangelo’s most significant murals, despite the fact that he did not consider himself a painter.

His Laurentian Library design was a forerunner to Mannerist architecture. He replaced Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the St. Peter’s Basilica’s architect at the age of 71.

Michelangelo altered the design such that, after his death, the dome and western end were completed to his specifications.

Michelangelo was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive. In fact, three biographies were published during his lifetime.

One of them, by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that Michelangelo’s work transcended that of any artist living or dead, and was “supreme in not one art alone but in all three.”

Il Divino (“the divine one”) was a nickname Michelangelo received throughout his lifetime. His capacity to inspire amazement in those who watch his art was something that many of his peers valued in him.

Mannerism, a transient artistic trend in Western art that emerged after the High Renaissance, was influenced by attempts made by later painters to emulate the expressive physicality of Michelangelo’s style.

Early Life

On March 6, 1475, Michelangelo was born in Caprese, now known as Caprese Michelangelo, a tiny Tuscan village located in Valtiberina, close to Arezzo.

His family had been small-scale bankers in Florence for several generations, but after the bank collapsed, his father, Ludovico di Leonardo Buonarroti Simoni, temporarily held a position in the Caprese administration, where Michelangelo was born.

At the time of Michelangelo’s birth, his father served as the podestà, or municipal administrator, of Chiusi della Verna as well as the town’s judicial administrator. It was Francesca di Neri del Miniato of Siena who was Michelangelo’s mother.

Michelangelo accepted the Buonarrotis’ claim that they were descended from Countess Matilde di Canossa, despite the fact that this claim has never been substantiated.

After Michelangelo was born, his family moved back to Florence, where he was brought up. In the village of Settignano, where his father had a marble quarry and a small farm, Michelangelo lived with a nanny and her husband, a stonecutter, throughout his mother’s subsequent protracted sickness and after her death in 1481 (when he was six years old). He developed a liking for marble there.

As Giorgio Vasari quotes him:

If there is some good in me, it is because I was born in the subtle atmosphere of your country of Arezzo. Along with the milk of my nurse I received the knack of handling chisel and hammer, with which I make my figures.


When Michelangelo was a small lad, the humanist Francesco da Urbino sent him to Florence to learn grammar. He had little interest in going to school; instead, he preferred to replicate church paintings and hang around with other artists.

The city of Florence was at that time Italy’s greatest centre of the arts and learning. Art was sponsored by the Signoria (the town council), the merchant guilds, and wealthy patrons such as the Medici and their banking associates.

The Renaissance, a renewal of Classical scholarship and the arts, had its first flowering in Florence. In the early 15th century, the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, having studied the remains of Classical buildings in Rome, had created two churches, San Lorenzo’s and Santo Spirito, which embodied the Classical precepts.

The sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti had laboured for fifty years to create the north and east bronze doors of the Baptistry, which Michelangelo was to describe as “The Gates of Paradise”.

The exterior niches of the Church of Orsanmichele contained a gallery of works by the most acclaimed sculptors of Florence: Donatello, Ghiberti, Andrea del Verrocchio, and Nanni di Banco.

The interiors of the older churches were covered with frescos (mostly in Late Medieval, but also in the Early Renaissance style), begun by Giotto and continued by Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel, both of whose works Michelangelo studied and copied in drawings.

During Michelangelo’s childhood, a team of painters had been called from Florence to the Vatican to decorate the walls of the Sistine Chapel.

Among them was Domenico Ghirlandaio, a master in fresco painting, perspective, figure drawing and portraiture who had the largest workshop in Florence. In 1488, at age 13, Michelangelo was apprenticed to Ghirlandaio.

The next year, his father persuaded Ghirlandaio to pay Michelangelo as an artist, which was rare for someone of fourteen. When in 1489, Lorenzo de’ Medici, de facto ruler of Florence, asked Ghirlandaio for his two best pupils, Ghirlandaio sent Michelangelo and Francesco Granacci.

From 1490 to 1492, Michelangelo attended the Platonic Academy, a Humanist academy founded by the Medici. There, his work and outlook were influenced by many of the most prominent philosophers and writers of the day, including Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Poliziano.

At this time, Michelangelo sculpted the reliefs Madonna of the Stairs (1490–1492) and Battle of the Centaurs (1491–1492), the latter based on a theme suggested by Poliziano and commissioned by Lorenzo de’ Medici. Michelangelo worked for a time with the sculptor Bertoldo di Giovanni.

When he was seventeen, another student named Pietro Torrigiano hit him in the nose, resulting in the obvious deformation seen in Michelangelo’s portraits.

Lorenzo de’ Medici’s death on 8 April 1492 brought a reversal of Michelangelo’s circumstances. Michelangelo left the security of the Medici court and returned to his father’s house.

In the following months he carved a polychrome wooden Crucifix (1493), as a gift to the prior of the Florentine church of Santo Spirito, which had allowed him to do some anatomical studies of the corpses from the church’s hospital.

This was the first of many times throughout his career that Michelangelo dissected cadavers to learn about anatomy.

He acquired a block of marble between 1493 and 1494, fashioned a life-size figure of Hercules from it, and brought it to France. It later vanished somewhere in the 18th century.

On 20 January 1494, after heavy snowfalls, Lorenzo’s heir, Piero de Medici, commissioned a statue made of snow, and Michelangelo again entered the court of the Medici.

In the same year, the Medici were expelled from Florence as the result of the rise of Savonarola. Michelangelo left the city before the end of the political upheaval, moving to Venice and then to Bologna.

In Bologna, he was commissioned to carve several of the last small figures for the completion of the Shrine of St. Dominic, in the church dedicated to that saint.

At this time Michelangelo studied the robust reliefs carved by Jacopo della Quercia around the main portal of the Basilica of St Petronius, including the panel of The Creation of Eve, the composition of which was to reappear on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Towards the end of 1495, the political situation in Florence was calmer; the city, previously under threat from the French, was no longer in danger as Charles VIII had suffered defeats.

Michelangelo returned to Florence but received no commissions from the new city government under Savonarola.

He returned to the employment of the Medici. During the half-year he spent in Florence, he worked on two small statues, a child St. John the Baptist and a sleeping Cupid.

According to Condivi, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, for whom Michelangelo had sculpted St. John the Baptist, asked that Michelangelo “fix it so that it looked as if it had been buried” so he could “send it to Rome … pass an ancient work and … sell it much better.” Both Lorenzo and Michelangelo were unwittingly cheated out of the real value of the piece by a middleman.

Cardinal Raffaele Riario, to whom Lorenzo had sold it, discovered that it was a fraud, but was so impressed by the quality of the sculpture that he invited the artist to Rome. This apparent success in selling his sculpture abroad as well as the conservative Florentine situation may have encouraged Michelangelo to accept the prelate’s invitation.

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Michelangelo arrived in Rome on 25 June 1496 at the age of 21. On 4 July of the same year, he began work on a commission for Cardinal Riario, an over-life-size statue of the Roman wine god Bacchus. Upon completion, the work was rejected by the cardinal, and subsequently entered the collection of the banker Jacopo Galli, for his garden.

In November 1497, the French ambassador to the Holy See, Cardinal Jean de Bilhères-Lagraulas, commissioned him to carve a Pietà, a sculpture showing the Virgin Mary grieving over the body of Jesus.

The subject, which is not part of the Biblical narrative of the Crucifixion, was common in religious sculpture of Medieval Northern Europe and would have been very familiar to the Cardinal.

The contract was agreed upon in August of the following year. Michelangelo was 24 at the time of its completion. It was soon to be regarded as one of the world’s great masterpieces of sculpture, “a revelation of all the potentialities and force of the art of sculpture”.

Contemporary opinion was summarised by Vasari: “It is certainly a miracle that a formless block of stone could ever have been reduced to a perfection that nature is scarcely able to create in the flesh.” It is now located in St Peter’s Basilica.

Michelangelo returned to Florence in 1499. The Republic was changing after the fall of its leader, anti-Renaissance priest Girolamo Savonarola, who was executed in 1498, and the rise of the gonfaloniere Piero Soderini.

The consuls of the Guild of Wool requested Michelangelo to finish a task started by Agostino di Duccio 40 years prior: a massive statue of Carrara marble depicting David as a symbol of Florentine independence to be mounted on the gable of Florence Cathedral. In response, Michelangelo finished the David statue, his most well-known creation, in 1504.

The masterwork definitively established his prominence as a sculptor of extraordinary technical skill and strength of symbolic imagination.

A team of consultants, including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Filippino Lippi, Pietro Perugino, Lorenzo di Credi, Antonio and Giuliano da Sangallo, Andrea della Robbia, Cosimo Rosselli, Davide Ghirlandaio, Piero di Cosimo, Andrea Sansovino and Michelangelo’s dear friend Francesco Granacci, was called together to decide upon its placement, ultimately the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.

It now stands in the Academia while a replica occupies its place in the square. In the same period of placing the David, Michelangelo may have been involved in creating the sculptural profile on Palazzo Vecchio’s façade known as the Importuno di Michelangelo.

The hypothesis on Michelangelo’s possible involvement in the creation of the profile is based on the strong resemblance of the latter to a profile drawn by the artist, datable to the beginning of the 16th century, now preserved in the Louvre.

With the completion of the David came another commission. In early 1504 Leonardo da Vinci had been commissioned to paint The Battle of Anghiari in the council chamber of the Palazzo Vecchio, depicting the battle between Florence and Milan in 1440.

Michelangelo was then commissioned to paint the Battle of Cascina. The two paintings are very different: Leonardo depicts soldiers fighting on horseback, while Michelangelo has soldiers being ambushed as they bathe in the river.

Neither work was completed and both were lost forever when the chamber was refurbished. Both works were much admired, and copies remain of them, Leonardo’s work having been copied by Rubens and Michelangelo’s by Bastiano da Sangallo.

Also during this period, Michelangelo was commissioned by Angelo Doni to paint a “Holy Family” as a present for his wife, Maddalena Strozzi.

It is known as the Doni Tondo and hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in its original magnificent frame, which Michelangelo may have designed.

He also may have painted the Madonna and Child with John the Baptist, known as the Manchester Madonna and now in the National Gallery, London.

In 1505 Michelangelo was invited back to Rome by the newly elected Pope Julius II and commissioned to build the Pope’s tomb, which was to include forty statues and be finished in five years.

Under the patronage of the pope, Michelangelo experienced constant interruptions to his work on the tomb in order to accomplish numerous other tasks.

The commission for the tomb forced the artist to leave Florence with his planned Battle of Cascina painting unfinished. By this time, Michelangelo was established as an artist; both he and Julius II had hot tempers and soon argued.

On 17 April 1506, Michelangelo left Rome in secret for Florence, remaining there until the Florentine government pressed him to return to the pope.

Although Michelangelo worked on the tomb for 40 years, it was never finished to his satisfaction. It is located in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome and is most famous for the central figure of Moses, completed in 1516. Of the other statues intended for the tomb, two, known as the Rebellious Slave and the Dying Slave, are now in the Louvre.

During the same period, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which took approximately four years to complete (1508–1512).

According to Condivi’s account, Bramante, who was working on the building of St. Peter’s Basilica, resented Michelangelo’s commission for the pope’s tomb and convinced the pope to commission him in a medium with which he was unfamiliar, in order that he might fail at the task.

Michelangelo was originally commissioned to paint the Twelve Apostles on the triangular pendentives that supported the ceiling, and to cover the central part of the ceiling with ornament.

Michelangelo persuaded Pope Julius II to give him a free hand and proposed a different and more complex scheme, representing the Creation, the Fall of Man, the Promise of Salvation through the prophets, and the genealogy of Christ.

The work is part of a larger scheme of decoration within the chapel that represents much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The composition stretches over 500 square metres of ceiling and contains over 300 figures.

At its centre are nine episodes from the Book of Genesis, divided into three groups: God’s creation of the earth; God’s creation of humankind and their fall from God’s grace; and lastly, the state of humanity as represented by Noah and his family.

On the pendentives supporting the ceiling are painted twelve men and women who prophesied the coming of Jesus, seven prophets of Israel, and five Sibyls, prophetic women of the Classical world.

Among the most famous paintings on the ceiling are The Creation of Adam, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Deluge, the Prophet Jeremiah, and the Cumaean Sibyl. In 1513, Pope Julius II died and was succeeded by Pope Leo X, the second son of Lorenzo de’ Medici.

From 1513 to 1516, Pope Leo was on good terms with Pope Julius’s surviving relatives, so encouraged Michelangelo to continue work on Julius’s tomb, but the families became enemies again in 1516 when Pope Leo tried to seize the Duchy of Urbino from Julius’s nephew Francesco Maria I della Rovere.

Pope Leo then had Michelangelo stop working on the tomb, and commissioned him to reconstruct the façade of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence and to adorn it with sculptures.

He spent three years creating drawings and models for the façade, as well as attempting to open a new marble quarry at Pietrasanta specifically for the project. In 1520, the work was abruptly cancelled by his financially strapped patrons before any real progress had been made. The basilica lacks a façade to this day.

In 1520, the Medici came back to Michelangelo with another grand proposal, this time for a family funerary chapel in the Basilica of San Lorenzo. For posterity, this project, occupying the artist for much of the 1520s and 1530s, was more fully realised.

Michelangelo used his own discretion to create the composition of the Medici Chapel, which houses the large tombs of two of the younger members of the Medici family, Giuliano, Duke of Nemours, and Lorenzo, his nephew.

It also serves to commemorate their more famous predecessors, Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano, who are buried nearby. The tombs display statues of the two Medici and allegorical figures representing Night and Day, and Dusk and Dawn.

The chapel also contains Michelangelo’s Medici Madonna. In 1976, a concealed corridor was discovered with drawings on the walls that related to the chapel itself.

Pope Leo X died in 1521 and was succeeded briefly by the austere Adrian VI, and then by his cousin Giulio Medici as Pope Clement VII. In 1524, Michelangelo received an architectural commission from the Medici pope for the Laurentian Library at San Lorenzo’s Church.

He designed both the interior of the library itself and its vestibule, a building utilising architectural forms with such dynamic effect that it is seen as the forerunner of Baroque architecture. It was left to assistants to interpret his plans and carry out construction.

The library was not opened until 1571, and the vestibule remained incomplete until 1904. In 1527, Florentine citizens, encouraged by the sack of Rome, threw out the Medici and restored the republic.

A siege of the city ensued, and Michelangelo went to the aid of his beloved Florence by working on the city’s fortifications from 1528 to 1529.

The Medici were reinstated to power when the city fell in 1530. Young Alessandro Medici, who had been appointed the first Duke of Florence, lost respect for Michelangelo. He went to Rome out of fear for his life, leaving workers to finish the Laurentian Library and the Medici chapel.

Michelangelo was welcomed by Pope Clement, who reinstated a prior allowance he had given the artist and negotiated a fresh contract with him over the tomb of Pope Julius despite his support for the republic and opposition to the Medici power. In Rome, Michelangelo lived near the church of Santa Maria di Loreto.

It was at this time that he met the poet Vittoria Colonna, marchioness of Pescara, who was to become one of his closest friends until her death in 1547.

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Shortly before his death in 1534, Pope Clement VII commissioned Michelangelo to paint a fresco of The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel.

His successor, Pope Paul III, was instrumental in seeing that Michelangelo began and completed the project, which he laboured on from 1534 to October 1541.

The fresco depicts the Second Coming of Christ and his Judgement of the souls. Michelangelo ignored the usual artistic conventions in portraying Jesus, showing him as a massive, muscular figure, youthful, beardless and naked.

He is surrounded by saints, among whom Saint Bartholomew holds a drooping flayed skin, bearing the likeness of Michelangelo. The dead rise from their graves, to be consigned either to Heaven or to Hell.

Once completed, the depiction of Christ and the Virgin Mary naked was considered sacrilegious, and Cardinal Carafa and Monsignor Sernini (Mantua’s ambassador) campaigned to have the fresco removed or censored, but the Pope resisted.

At the Council of Trent, shortly before Michelangelo’s death in 1564, it was decided to obscure the genitals and Daniele da Volterra, an apprentice oeMichelangelo’s 1ll, was commissioned to make the alterations. An uncensored copy of the original, by Marcello Vaenusti, is in the Capodimonte Museum of Naples.lolulknlprsjza.

Michelangelo worked on a number of architectural projects at this time. They included a design for the Capitoline Hill with its trapezoid piazza displaying the ancient bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius.

He designed the upper floor of thl
e Palazzo Farnese and the interior of the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, inbam which he transformed the vaulted interor of an Ancient Roman bathhouse.

Other architectural works include San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, the Sforza Chapel (Capella Sforza) in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Porta Pia.

While still working on the Last Judgment, Michelangelo received yet another commission for the Vatican. This was for the painting of two large frescos in the Cappella Paolina depicting significant events in the lives of the two most important saints of Rome, the Conversion of Saint Paul and the Crucifixion of Saint Peter.

Like the Last Judgment, these two works are complex compositions containing a great number of figures. They were completed in 1550. In the same year, Giorgio Vasari published his Vita, including a biography of Michelangelo.

In 1546, Michelangelo was appointed architect of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. The process of replacing the Constantinian basilica of the 4th century had been underway for fifty years and in 1506 foundations had been laid to the plans of Bramante.

Successive architects had worked on it, but little progress had been made. Michelangelo was persuaded to take over the project. He returned to the concepts of Bramante, and developed his ideas for a centrally planned church, strengthening the structure both physically and visually.

The dome, not completed until after his death, has been called by Banister Fletcher, “the greatest creation of the Renaissance”.

As construction was progressing on St Peter’s, there was concern that Michelangelo would pass away before the dome was finished.

However, once building commenced on the lower part of the dome, the supporting ring, the completion of the design was inevitable.

On 7 December 2007, a red chalk sketch for the dome of St Peter’s Basilica, possibly the last made by Michelangelo before his death, was discovered in the Vatican archives.

It is extremely rare, since he destroyed his designs later in life. The sketch is a partial plan for one of the radial columns of the cupola drum of St Peter’s.

Personal life

A devoted Catholic, Michelangelo’s religion grew stronger at the end of his life. The ending words of poem 285, which was composed by him in 1554, are one example of his poetry: “Neither painting nor sculpture will be able any longer to calm my soul, now turned toward that divine love that opened his arms on the cross to take us in.”

Michelangelo was abstemious in his personal life, and once told his apprentice, Ascanio Condivi: “However rich I may have been, I have always lived like a poor man.”

Michelangelo’s bank accounts and numerous deeds of purchase show that his net worth was about 50,000 gold ducats, more than many princes and dukes of his time.

Condivi said he was indifferent to food and drink, eating “more out of necessity than of pleasure” and that he “often slept in his clothes and … boots.” His biographer Paolo Giovio says, “His nature was so rough and uncouth that his domestic habits were incredibly squalid, and deprived posterity of any pupils who might have followed him.”

This, however, may not have affected him, as he was by nature a solitary and melancholy person, bizzarro e fantastico, a man who “withdrew himself from the company of men.”

Relationships and poetry

Love for a lady’s different. Not much
in that for a wise and virile lover’s trouble.

— translation of Michelangelo work by John Frederick Nim
It is impossible to know whether Michelangelo had any physical relationships (Condivi ascribed to him a “monk-like chastity”). Speculation about his sexuality is rooted in his poetry.

He wrote more than three hundred sonnets and madrigals. The longest sequence, displaying deep loving feeling, was written to the young Roman patrician Tommaso dei Cavalieri (c. 1509–1587), who was 23 years old when Michelangelo first met him in 1532, at the age of 57.

The Florentine Benedetto Varchi fifteen years later described Cavalieri as of “incomparable beauty”, with “graceful manners, so excellent an endowment and so charming a demeanour that he indeed deserved, and still deserves, the more to be loved the better he is known”.

In his “Lives of the Artists”, Giorgio Vasari observed: “But infinitely more than any of the others he loved M. Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, a Roman gentleman, for whom, being a young man and much inclined to these arts, [Michelangelo] made, to the end that he might learn to draw, many most superb drawings of divinely beautiful heads, designed in black and red chalk; and then he drew for him a Ganymede rapt to Heaven by Jove’s Eagle, a Tityus with the Vulture devouring his heart, the Chariot of the Sun falling with Phaëthon into the Po, and a Bacchanal of children, which are all in themselves most rare things, and drawings the like of which have never been seen.”

Scholars agree that Michelangelo became infatuated with Cavalieri. The poems to Cavalieri make up the first large sequence of poems in any modern tongue addressed by one man to another; they predate by 50 years Shakespeare’s sonnets to the fair youth:

I feel as lit by fire a cold countenance
That burns me from afar and keeps itself ice-chill;
A strength I feel two shapely arms to fill
Which without motion moves every balance.

— translation of Michelangelo work by Michael Sullivan
Cavalieri replied: “I swear to return your love. Never have I loved a man more than I love you, never have I wished for a friendship more than I wish for yours.” Cavalieri remained devoted to Michelangelo until his death.

In 1542, Michelangelo met Cecchino dei Bracci who died only a year later, inspiring Michelangelo to write 48 funeral epigrams. Some of the objects of Michelangelo’s affections, and subjects of his poetry, took advantage of him: the model Febo di Poggio asked for money in response to a love-poem, and a second model, Gherardo Perini, shamelessly stole from him.

The homoerotic nature of the poetry has been a source of discomfort to later generations. Michelangelo’s grandnephew, Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger, published the poems in 1623 with the gender of pronouns changed, and it was not until John Addington Symonds translated them into English in 1893 that the original genders were restored.

In modern times some scholars insist that, despite the restoration of the pronouns, they represent “an emotionless and elegant re-imagining of Platonic dialogue, whereby erotic poetry was seen as an expression of refined sensibilities”, but others read his poems at face value, suggesting a preference by him for young men over women.

Vittoria Colonna, a poet and noble widow whom Michelangelo met in Rome in 1536 or 1538 when she was in her late forties, became the object of Michelangelo’s intense platonic love later in life.

They exchanged sonnets and were in touch often up to her passing. These sonnets mostly address the spiritual concerns that preoccupied the poets. According to Condivi, Michelangelo once said that his one regret in life was not kissing the widow’s face the same way he had her hand.

Feuds with other artists

In a letter dated late 1542, Michelangelo blamed Bramante and Raphael’s jealousy for the friction between him and Julius II, claiming of the latter that “all he had in art, he got from me.”

Gian Paolo Lomazzo claims that Michelangelo and Raphael only ever met once, with the former being alone himself and the latter having a large group of people with him.

Raphael said that he believed he had met an executioner since they often travel alone after Michelangelo said he thought he had run into the chief of police with such a group.


The Madonna of the Stairs is Michelangelo’s first marble piece that has been identified. It is carved in shallow relief, a style popular with famous sculptors of the early 15th century like Desiderio da Settignano and Donatello.

While the Madonna is in profile, the easiest aspect for a shallow relief, the child displays a twisting motion that was to become characteristic of Michelangelo’s work.

The Taddei Tondo of 1502 shows the Christ Child frightened by a Bullfinch, a symbol of the Crucifixion. The lively form of the child was later adapted by Raphael in the Bridgewater Madonna.

The Madonna of Bruges was, at the time of its creation, unlike other such statues depicting the Virgin proudly presenting her son. Here, the Christ Child, restrained by his mother’s clasping hand, is about to step off into the world.

The Doni Tondo, which shows the Holy Family, incorporates aspects from all three of the aforementioned pieces. The frieze of figures in the backdrop resembles a low-relief, and the circular form and dynamic shapes like those of the Taddeo Tondo.

The picture emphasizes the twisting action seen in the Madonna of Bruges. The picture foreshadows the shapes, motion, and color that Michelangelo would later use on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, among other things.

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