Michelangelo's two famous Sistine Chapel frescoes (The Genesis fresco, and The Last Judgment fresco), were a study in contrasts.
Genesis expressed the confident humanism and Christian Neo-Platonism which underpinned the High Renaissance (c.1490-1525).
His place among the best artists of all time is assured.
In 1492, after the death of his patron, Lorenzo de' Medici, the 17 year old Michelangelo moved to Bologna, and, in 1496, to Rome.
He left Rome during wrangles over the tomb, but returned not long afterwards.
In 1508, he was commissioned by the Pope to repaint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with what became known as his Genesis fresco.
He then returned to Florence to work for the Medici family in the person of Pope Leo X, the younger son of his former patron Lorenzo de' Medici.
In painting, he was the greatest ever painter of the male nude.
No artist who has followed him in this area has remained uninfluenced by his figures.
During the years 1516-1527 he performed a number of sculptural and architectural tasks for the Medici and Rovere popes. Michelangelo remained in Florence working on the Medici Chapel but left in 1534 to return to Rome where he settled for the remainder of his life.
Almost at once he received his next great commission from Pope Paul III - to paint The Last Judgment, on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel.