Most Famous Art Works by Michelangelo


Michelangelo is one of the most celebrated artists in history and his works still exert unparalleled influence on the development of art even after more than 450 years of his death. The Italian sculptor, painter, poet and architect Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is most commonly known just by his first name, is perhaps the greatest artist in history and some of his most noted works include the fresco on the Sistine Chapel and his evocative sculptures Pietà, Moses and David.

While the list of his works will seem endless if we go on to mention his each and every work, we’ve here complied some of the best works by this most celebrated High Renaissance artist.

La Pietà

La Pietà is a Carrara marble statue depicting Virgin Mary holding and grieving over the body of Jesus after his crucifixion. La Pietà means ‘The Pity’ in English. Michelangelo started working on the statue in 1498 and completed in 1499. He was just 24 years old when he completed it. The statue was originally made for the funeral tomb of French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères but was later moved to St. Peter’s Basilica in the 18th century. Pietà is the only work that was ever signed by Michelangelo.


Standing at 17 feet tall, David is one of the magnificent statues sculpted by Michelangelo. The statue of standing male nude is iconic to many works of art and to Michelangelo himself. It was actually commissioned as part of a series that were intended to position along the roofline of Florence Cathedral, but was instead placed at the seat of the civic Government in Florence. Michelangelo started this work when he was 26 and completed it in three years.


Moses was commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1505 and was not completed until after his death. The statue is unequalled by any work modern or ancient and depicts the Biblical figure Moses with horns on his head. It was completed in the year 1515. Legend says that Michelangelo was so captivated in the figure that, after completing it, he commanded it to speak saying that the only thing he couldn’t put inside it was life. He struck the sculpture with his hammer commanding it to speak out.

Sistine Chapel Fresco

Think about Michelangelo and the first thing that comes to your mind is the stunning fresco painted by the artist on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. The work depicts the book of genesis and was created between 1508 and 1512 and it was Pope Julius II who commissioned the work. The paintings reflect nine stories from the Book of Genesis and the art is considered as one of the greates works in the High Renaissance period. Among all, The Creation of Adam is the best known which has been reproduced countless times.

St. Peter’s Basilica

This architectural marvel needs no introduction and is considered as the most renowned work that depicts the Renaissance architecture. It is one of the greatest buildings and the largest church in the world. In the year 1505, Pope Julius II decided to demolish the ancient basilica and replace it with an enormous monumental structure with his tomb inside to glorify himself in popular imagination. He commissioned Michelangelo after selecting his design. However, Michelangelo died before completing it but he already brought the construction to a point from where it could be carried through.