Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) was the epitome of a Renaissance man, being skilled in at least ten occupations. Among these were architecture, sculpture, painting, science, engineering, botany and inventing. Ten works have survived that we can surely attribute to Leonardo. Three of these are the ‘Last Supper’, the ‘Virgin of the Rocks’ and the ‘Mona Lisa.’
The painter who was commissioned to decorate a room in the Vatican was Raphael (1483 – 1520). This room has several depictions of religious figures. Raphael did self-portraits and he is well-known for his two paintings of St. George and his numerous Madonnas. Among these Madonnas is the ‘Sistine Madonna’, pure and angelic. His last painting was the ‘Transfiguration.’
Michelangelo (1475 – 1564) spent most of his seventy years painting, although he was really a marble sculptor. His amazing skills led to exceptional works such as the Pietà. But one fault that Michelangelo had was to not always finish what he started. We can see this in the tomb for Pope Julius II and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. His best known work is the marble David which stands seventeen feet tall. One quality that is prominent in Michelangelo’s work is human anatomy. He did not paint landscapes but was fully focused on man, as most Renaissance people were.