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March 6th marks the birthday of Michelangelo, the legendary artist and Renaissance master. As we celebrate his birthday, let's take a closer look at some of the lesser-known facts and stories about his life and work. From his rivalry with Leonardo da Vinci to his unconventional methods of creating art, here are 5 unique things you might not have known about Michelangelo.

5 Unique Facts

1. Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were bitter rivals

image of Michelangelo's David sculpture
While Michelangelo is often compared to Leonardo da Vinci as two of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance, they were actually bitter rivals. According to historical accounts, Michelangelo once insulted da Vinci's skills as an artist, which led to a long-standing feud between the two.

2. Michelangelo's David was originally supposed to be placed on a church rooftop

Michelangelo's David statue
Michelangelo's famous statue of David, one of his most iconic works, was originally intended to be placed on the roof of Florence Cathedral. However, due to its size and weight, it was eventually moved to its current location in the Accademia Gallery in Florence.

3. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling lying on his back One of Michelangelo's most famous works is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, which he painted between 1508 and 1512. To create this masterpiece, Michelangelo had to lie on his back on scaffolding for hours on end, enduring physical strain and discomfort.

4. Michelangelo was a skilled architect in addition to his work as a sculptor and painter, Michelangelo was also a skilled architect. He designed many buildings and structures throughout his career, including the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.

5. Michelangelo was known for his unconventional methods of creating art Michelangelo was known for his unconventional methods of creating art, often working in ways that were different from his contemporaries. For example, he would often start with a rough sketch and then carve directly into the stone, rather than creating a detailed model first.


Michelangelo's legacy as a master artist and Renaissance innovator lives on today, inspiring countless artists and admirers around the world. On his birthday, let's celebrate his life and work by exploring some of the lesser-known facts and stories about this extraordinary man.

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