Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect and poet. Born in Tuscany, his early patrons were the Medicis of Florence. With their fall and the threat of French invasion, he moved to Rome and alternated between these two cities throughout his long career, depending on political changes and his tumultuous relations with his employers. Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and the David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, two of his most influential works were frescoes, commissioned by Popes for the Vatican in Rome: the biblical figures and scenes on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel. In 1546, he was appointed architect of St. Peter`s Basilica; this prodigious building, along with additional structures he created, gave the Vatican its present form. Michelangelo`s genius in sculpture, painting and architect did much to influence the course of West art.