Michelangelo was a famous artist from the Renaissance period whose works include sculptures and paintings. His "David" and the "Pietà" are his two most famous sculptures. His paintings include the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.Know More
Cardinal Jean de Bilhères-Lagraulas commissioned Michelangelo for the "Pietà" when the sculptor was only 24. Originally situated at the cardinal's tomb, the sculpture of Mary grieving over the body of Jesus is now in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. According to legend, Michelangelo carved his signature into the scarf across Mary's chest upon hearing pilgrims attribute the work to another sculptor. It is the only of his sculptures bearing his signature.
Returning to Florence in 1499, Michelangelo took over the commission to complete the sculpture of "David" from a 17-foot piece of marble. The statue is a prized possession of the city of Florence.
In 1505, the newly elected Pope Julius commissioned Michelangelo to create his tomb, which was to include 40 statues over a period of five years. However, the Pope had other projects that interrupted Michelangelo's work, including painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. While Michelangelo did not consider himself primarily a painter, the ceiling remains one of the great art masterpieces of the Renaissance.Learn More
Desiderius Erasmus was a prominent philosopher and theologian during the Protestant Reformation and was responsible for creating a new edition of the New Testament as well as many other influential writings. He was a highly controversial figure and was heavily criticized by both Catholic and Protestant authorities. Nonetheless, his works were very popular, and he remains well known.Full Answer >
Galileo Galilei was an Italian genius that is famous for many things, most notably for his contributions to astronomy. He is responsible for discovering Jupiter's four moons, advancing telescope technology and declaring that the Earth revolves around the sun.Full Answer >
The Renaissance is defined as an intellectual movement that originated in Italy during the end of the Middle Ages, explains "Mediæval and Modern History." It served as a rebirth of enthusiasm in art, literature and learning in general. This enthusiasm sparked a cultural revolution which spread throughout Europe.Full Answer >
Although historians note Louis XIV's promotion of science, art and technology in France, his insistence on absolute power based on the "divine right of kings," his persecution of Protestants and his system of favoritism in appointing provincial officials helped sow the seeds of civil unrest that eventually led to revolution years after his death. Louis XIV's aggressive plans to expand France's borders in the area of the Rhine River resulted in a war with Austria and its allies, the Netherlands, Prussia and England, which were all major European powers. The conflict, known as the War of the League of Augsburg, ended in a 1697 peace treaty that was perceived as a defeat for France, leaving the country in a state of financial exhaustion.Full Answer >