Michelangelo show in Rome lauds 'universal artist'

ROME (AFP) - A Michelangelo exhibition opened in Rome on Tuesday, highlighting the Renaissance master as a "universal artist" who brought his own brand of mysticism to a variety of art forms.

The show starts off with Madonna Of The Steps - a relief sculpture made by Michelangelo at the age of 15.

It brings together 150 works - busts, sketches, statues and oil paintings - by Michelangelo and his contemporaries.

Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in Arezzo in central Italy in 1475 and learnt his craft as a painter and sculptor in the workshop of Domenico and Davide Ghirlandaio in Florence.

Lorenzo de Medici became his patron but the young Michelangelo had to move to Rome in 1496 when the city was swept by turmoil following the Florentine duke's death.

Michelangelo worked for six popes and became ever closer to his Christian faith in his old age as seen in the numerous Crucifixions and Resurrections in the exhibition.

The show at the Capitoline Museums runs until Sept 14.

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