Why Michelangelo

A beacon
for the

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475–1564) was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer.

Recognised the world over, his work is distinguished by masterpieces that are milestones in the history of visual and applied arts. Michelangelo is a treasure of humanity who serves as a beacon for the Foundation and our work in promoting and protecting the métiers d’art.


The artist-artisan

Michelangelo was both artist and artisan. He embodies the union of creativity and craftsmanship which is at the heart of the Foundation’s vision. He was also one of the first to make the artistic signature a symbol of value and relevance, pioneering recognition for artists and artisans in society.

Lasting excellence

500 years on, Michelangelo’s work is a testimony to lasting excellence. It is a fitting symbol for the Foundation and our focus on objects that are of the highest quality, that are made to last.

A model for the future

Painter, sculptor, architect, artisan and even poet, Michelangelo’s creativity was unbounded and he did not fit into any one category. Perhaps surprisingly, Michelangelo’s way of working is representative of today’s up-and-coming artisans, who cross boundaries and seek innovative new ways of doing things.

The human at the centre

The beauty of the human body was a main focus of Michelangelo’s work. The Foundation’s vision for master craftsmanship puts the human being back in the centre of a picture sometimes eclipsed by machines and technology.

©Wikimedia/Web Gallery of Art
Read more about Michelangelo's life

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Talented young apprentice

Michelangelo’s formal education began when he was six, and his strong abilities in drawing and painting were already evident then. At the age of 13, he was apprenticed to the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio and a year later began training as a sculptor under the direction of Bertoldo di Giovanni. At this time, he came to the attention of Lorenzo de’ Medici, also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent. A skilled diplomat and generous patron of the arts, Lorenzo exemplified the values of the Italian Renaissance and gave the young Michelangelo access to the great thinkers, artists and works of art of the time.

Lifetime of remarkable work

Michelangelo spent his life between Florence and Rome, creating paintings, sculptures, and spaces for the top political and religious rulers. His famous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, majestic sculpture of David, graceful architectural volumes of the Capitol square in Rome and innovative lines of the Laurentian Library are just a few examples of his accomplishments and dedication to his craft. One of Michelangelo’s most expressive works is the Pietà Rondanini, an unfinished sculpture on display in Milan’s Sforzesco Castle. The beauty of the polished human form emerges from the rough essence of stone, a combination that creates an emotional and thought-provoking work and shows see how this one man embodied both the inspired vision of the artist and the expressive power of the artisan.

©Wikimedia/Paolo da Reggio


A continual inspiration

Michelangelo left behind a wealth of handwritten material as well as his works of art. The symbol in the Foundation’s logo is taken from one of his signatures, on a sheet called ‘the David sheet’, currently held in the Louvre.

Next to two drawings, ‘Michelangniolo’ can be seen in small, elegant calligraphy. Michelangelo signed his name in its old Tuscan version, reflecting his strong attachment to his Florentine homeland.

Bold and substantial, our ‘M’ represents the remarkable figure of Michelangelo, and how his commitment to beauty and mastery serve as a continual inspiration for our work.

Our colour palette is built on the fundamental colours of red, representing the material world of craftsmanship, and blue, representing the realms of creativity and imagination. These two aspects are intentionally brought together, reflecting our firm belief that by merging them we open a space for the highest human potential and excellence to emerge.

© EPPH/Simon Abrahams