Michelangelo's Art in Florence

David's replica statue in front of Palazzo Vecchio
Viviane Ponti / Getty Images

Born in Caprese, Tuscany, Michelangelo Buonarotti grew up in Florence and has long been associated with the city. Florence, in addition to Rome, holds some of Michelangelo's greatest works. 

Michelangelo is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. Before the age of 30, he created two of his best-known sculptures, the Pietà and David. He also created two of the most famous frescoes in the history of Western art, the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and The Last Judgment, also in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.

Florence is where you will find the sculpture of David, which is one of the great icons of Renaissance art, as well as numerous other sculptures, paintings and architectural projects by the Italian artist. There are several places in Florence where you can see is work and learn more about his life.

Michelangelo's Art in the Galleria dell'Accademia

The Galleria dell'Accademia houses the original sculpture of David, considered one of Michelangelo's finest works of art. David once stood in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's City Hall, as a symbol of the city's independence. There are now copies of David in front of the Palazzo Vecchio and in the center of Piazzale Michelangelo, a hilltop square famous for its panorama of Florence.

A few other Michelangelo works reside in the Accademia. They are The Four Prisoners, a marble grouping designed for the tomb of Pope Julius II, and a statue of Saint Matthew.

Casa Buonarotti, Michelangelo's House

Michelangelo once owned Casa Buonarroti on Via Ghibellina. Converted to a small museum, the house contains several sculptures and drawings, including two of Michelangelo's early relief sculptures: Battle of the Centaurs and Madonna of the Stairs. A specially equipped room displays on rotation a small number of the drawings of Michelangelo.

Michelangelo's Art in the Bargello

Florence's premier museum for sculpture, the  Museo Nazionale del Bargello, boasts a few Michelangelo sculptures, too. The most famous of these is Bacchus, a statue depicting a tipsy Bacchus (God of Wine) adorned with grapes and holding a chalice. Additionally, in the Bargello, there's Michelangelo's David Apollo, which bears similarity to the David in the Accademia; a bust of Brutus; and the Tondo Pitti, a relief sculpture in the round depicting the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.

Michelangelo's Art in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

The Museum of the Duomo, which holds many prized objects from Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo), is where you'll find The Deposition, another fine sculpture by the Renaissance master. Also called The Florentine Pietà (Michelangelo's more famous Pietà is in Rome), The Deposition shows the dead Christ being held up by the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Nicodemus.

Michelangelo's Art in Palazzo Vecchio

The well-known Palazzo Vecchio still functions as Florence's city hall, but much of it is now a museum. This is the site of yet another Michelangelo sculpture, The Genius of Victory. But it is also where Michelangelo was to paint a monumental Battle of Cascina.

This painting was never initiated, though some art historians believe it may be "lost." It is believed that Leonardo's "Battle of Anghiari" frescos still exist beneath one wall of the room.