Lorenzo De' Medici's Sculpture Garden and the Florence of Michelangelo's Youth

This digital project examines how the Medici Sculpture Garden and the city of Florence at large influenced Italian artist and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti during his early artistic development. Michelangelo’s apprenticeship in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio and his education in the Medici Palace and the Medici Sculpture Garden during his youth were foundational for his expansive career. Living in Florence gave him the opportunity to study the techniques and works of the artistic masters that came before him, such as Donatello, Ghiberti, and Giotto, in Florentine commonplaces like the Piazzi del Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio.  In the years 1490-1492 when Michelangelo was living with the Medici family in their palace, he studied antiquities in the art collection of Lorenzo De’ Medici and learned of Neo-Platonic and Humanist ideas by friends and philosophers who frequented the Medici Palace. The artwork of Florence, the collection of Lorenzo de’ Medici and the Medici social circle created an expansive network that never left Michelangelo’s mind. Using visual and textual analysis to supplement and organize the Neatline digital component creates a clear visual map with annotated images to explain the aspects of the artworks, architecture, and Florentine people that all added to the richness and detail of Michelangelo’s influential and successful career.


Brenna Keeley