Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy but was raised in Florence. His mother died by the time Michelangelo was only six years old, leaving him to live with his father, a nobleman. But even before then, Michelangelo's childhood had been grim and lacking in affection, and he was always to uphold a strict disposition. Touchy and curious, he tended to keep to himself, out of shyness according to some but also, according to others, a lack of trust in his fellows. Michelangelo's father, now a minor Florentine official with connections to the ruling Medici family, was a man obsessed with preserving what little remained of the Buonarroti fortunes. With few properties and monies remaining, his fatherhoped that with his studies, Michelangelo could become a successful merchant or businessman, thereby preserving the Buonarroti position in society.
As Michelangelo progressed in his studies he began to have a high interest in drawing. He enraged his father when he told him that he was to learn under the artist Domenico Ghirlandaio. When in 1489 Lorenzo de' Medici, de facto ruler of Florence, asked Ghirlandaio for his two best pupils, Ghirlandaio sent Michelangelo and Francesco Granacci. At the Medici Academy, both Michelangelo's outlook and his art were subject to the influence of many of the most prominent philosophers and writers of the day.
Unfortunately, after the death of Lorenzo, Michelangelo was forced to return back to his father’s house. Lorenzo’s heir, Piero de Medici, asked Michelangelo back to commission a Snow Statue. When a political upheaval arose in Florence Michelangelo fled to Venice and Bologna where he carved the Shrine of St. Dominic. When all seemed well in Florence Michelangelo returned but was not offered any commissions from the new city government so he returned to working for the Medici family. When Cardinal Raffaele Riario bought one of Michelangelo’s statues, St. John the Baptist, he was so impressed by it that he invited Michelangelo to come to Rome. When Michelangelo was only 21 he was an influential and essential artist living in Rome. This is where he created the Pietà, one of his most famous works.